Replacing bad habits with good habits has lifesaving benefits
What would you like to change in your life? Maybe you have tried but it’s not happening.
Is there something that seems to interfere with your progress, or your success? Think about what you do in a day. Do you consume excessive sweets? Are you a chocoholic?
Habits can be divided into good and bad. The good habits are: bathing, brushing our teeth, eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom, working a job, etc. Bad habits could be excessive television watching, drinking more than three cups of coffee a day; putting off task like paying bills, or doing drugs, tossing your clothes on the floor, or a chair instead of hanging them up.
Some habits are a must: eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, maybe snacks in between; taking vitamins after your morning meal—these are good habits, necessary to your daily survival. What are some habits you have picked up along your life’s journey? Drinking coffee? Procrastination? What about your financial habits? Are they good or bad?
The key to breaking a habit is what you will replace it with. According to a Texas A&M University psychologist, the best way to kick unwanted habits is to adopt a strategy that makes it difficult to continue those habits while developing new, and positive ones.
For example, if you are struggling with overeating, begin writing those thoughts into a journal. In other words reach for the pen, rather than the food. Let your pen walk you through the cravings. Replace it with a positive habit – drink a glass of water, eat a piece of fruit.
An ex-addict, Bertha Harden, had been a functional addict for over 19 years, even her husband was clueless to his wife’s secret. One day she decided to admit herself to a rehab center. It was there in that place where she was forced to pen her thoughts, to deal with her addiction with the pen. Her decision put her in a position to write her way out of her internal prison, redirecting her self-destructive path to a place of healing.
Old habits are persistent and feeling overwhelmed and frustrated is common. Don’t give in. You can win. If you return to the old habit, know that is the struggle to break free. Adapting a positive habit to replace it with will divert your attention and empower you to fight.
Dr. Cox in his book, How to Succeed through Positive Thinking and Behavior wrote that it takes 21 days to change a behavior.
If your habit involves finances, over spending, debt, start keeping track of what you are spending on a daily basis. Write down everything. At the end of the day when you look back, you will see what you are spending money on; it may even dawn on you where your financial waste is.
Smokers who make the decision to quit won’t succeed unless an alternate strategy is set up to replace the habit. You can apply the journaling strategy to help you identify what triggers the desire to smoke. When the desire comes, write down all the thoughts in your mind. Therein may lay the trigger. The next step is to find a positive habit to replace smoking with. The healthiest thing to do is increase your water intake, eat more fruits and vegetables, began some type of physical work out. Divert your thinking to something other than smoking.
The same is true of failure habits: You will never fail again, if you set up a plan. Use a journal to help you set your goal, make your plans and act upon them.
What we learn about habits: Good habits improve and assist us with a positive lifestyle. And bad habits erode physical and emotional health and stifle progress. Bad habits cannot be overcome without a plan. So make your plan and carry it out. Replace bad habits that thwart emotional and physical progress, with positive habits that improve the quality of life.
Blondie L. Clayton is a Realization Strategist™ author, freelance writer, publishing coach and speaker. She is also the founder of the Higher Heights School of Publishing (E-Course for Dummies), Free Newsletter and bonuses at (www.blondie2book.com) Also the host of the Author’s Spotlight at www.positivechangeradio.com