5 Quick Steps to Breaking any Bad Habit

Posted by Ryan Dutka . on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 8:50pm.

First take an inventory of your habits and see which ones are good for you and which are not

Do an inventory of how the habit you want to break has broken you.

What has it cost you , how has it impacted you financially, in wasted time,
in ruined relationships, in your sense of accomplishment and well being
and of course the cost to your health.

Be very specific and honest because you need to know the cost of the habit
if you are going to find the energy and commitment to break it.
Write down what it will continue to cost you in the next year in the next five years
Make a photo collage of the cost.
You can use charts or a collage of pictures to help your brain grasp the significance
of the cost of the bad habit.

Then make a photo collage of the gains you will accomplish by breaking the bad habit
so you can see what you are aiming for.
Make a thermometer chart and assign points for specific accomplishments
and when you acquire enough points you get a reward of your choice.

Get your support group involved in the point assigning technique,
it is too easy to cheat and not even know you are cheating.
What would be available to you, perhaps more energy, time , money ,
definitely a sense of accomplishment.
- What results do you see yourself achieving that you have been longing to achieve.
  find a picture to represent that dream and add it to your photo collage
-What kind of person might you become once you are free from being under the thumb of the habit
  find a picture to represent that image and add it to your photo collage
-What part of what you will be able to accomplish excites you.
  find a picture to represent that dream and add it to your photo collage
-Put into one sentence why is this important and make that your hourly mantra.

3.GET PREPARED for the discomfort which will plague you during the process of elimination.

Habits are formed in context, they accompany activities and events
which go together like chocolate cake and milk.
For example a lot of people have a cigarette with a coffee or after a meal
or when having an alcoholic drink.
These contexts create links and triggers.
This means to break the habit you will have to remove the context.
You do not have to give up coffee or going out to a pub forever,
but you will need to eliminate them from your activities
until the bad habit can no longer be triggered by the context of the activity.
Tap into your social network and ask them to support you during the break the bad habit stage.
It is not fun having to give up events and activities
which are triggers to the habit you are trying to break so refer to your photo collage
for further encouragement as to what you will gain after putting up with the discomfort for awhile.

Even if you avoid the trigger situations the urge will arise.
Know that it will pass, and to help you buy time while it passes redirect your attention.
-Call on your support group.
-Go for a walk,
-Add more incentives to your photo collage.
-Add more points to your reward system.
Do a task that you have been putting off,
and the sense of well being which will come from taking it off of your to do list
will teach your biological system that there are more constructive things to do
than to give in the the temptation of a bad habit.
The goal here is to replace the bad habit with a good one.
The act of breaking the bad habit requires learning a level of discipline you never had before
otherwise you would not have acquired the bad habit.
That new found skill can then be applied to the discipline needed
to do the things you have dreamed of but thought that you did not have the time.
Maybe it was to run a marathon, or learn how to play the piano, or write that novel,
discipline once learned is available to be applied to anything of your choice.
Each step needs constant reaffirmation.
The habit was acquired over time with many repetitions.
So too is how we get out of it and create an newer healthier habit.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.
Every day and when the temptation arises,
go over your photo collages as to what the habit cost you
and what the reward will be when you break it.
Do whatever it takes to reaffirm your decision.
You are the master of what habits you will keep and which ones will go.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help for a habit that you feel is getting the best of you.
Have you let go of an annoying or destructive habit?
What was it and how did you do it?
Please share with us because support systems can never be too big.
First we form habits, then they form us.
Jim Rohn
Until next time
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