1.a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up
Habits are apart of the small details that make up who we are. These habits can be done consciously and subconsciously. Habits can be learned from the environments in which we live in, things we see, hear, and watch people do. There are habits that are good such as brushing your teeth everyday, and there are habits that are bad, such as doing drugs. Either or, we all have them and to a degree we all do them for a reason. Normally these bad habits form from seeing someone else have bad habits, it can be also caused by daily stressors.
Habits are developed overtime, by the same repeated action. That same repeated action is what causes it to become a habit therefore becoming what we do on a day to day basis. There are a lot of people who realize their habits are not good, and they work to change them. There are people that have bad habits but cant see that there is anything wrong with them. There are people who have habits and dont know how to change them.
Why is that even when we do see that we need to change a habit, it takes a long time to stick with it, or we start but never finish?
Our Minds, is the answer. There is something within our minds that try to stop us from developing a new habit. This can sometimes be fear, insecurities, worries, and doubt. This could also be a particular situation or event that has happened in your life to cause you to think and act the way that you do. This event happening to you could be a reason behind the lack of motivation to start a new habit. No matter what the reason maybe, whether emotions, or traumatic events in your life that have happened, you must get to the gut of it so that you can figure out away to overcome whats holding you back.
The number one reason I believe we fail in changing habits is because we try to stop cold turkey with these habits. Now, there have been some instances where you could stop something cold turkey, however if you have been doing it for quite a while , I personally know that it will be a lot harder to actually stop that habit.
I have been struggling with the habit of living a healthy lifestyle, and toning up my body. I also have been struggling with the habit of hitting the snooze button multiple times. However, after almost 9 years and finally realizing that these habits aren’t going to get me anywhere. I have decided to trust God to be thing to help me slowly but surely change those habits. It takes you getting serious about them, it takes you getting tired of seeing no results or the same o thing. It takes you changing your mindset to actually push yourself to make those changes. Below are ways that I am implementing on a daily basis to help me in my journey of changing bad habits and making new ones.
Getting Rid of Old Habits & Replacing them with New Ones
Key #1 Change an Old Habit By Replacing it with a good habit
There are often times that we have the desire to want to change a habit, but we have no plan in doing so. For instance, people say that they want to stop smoking cigarettes, and then exchange that for smoking a vape which is basically still smoking and just as harmful to your body. The reason that people will either revert back to the old habit or replace a bad habit with another bad habit, is because they have no plan to add a good habit in its place. So, instead of saying I am going to stop smoking cigarettes, and then clinching to the next best thing, you should instead say I am going to stop smoking cigarettes and in its place start working out, walking, writing, volunteering or another good habit. You must have a good habit to replace the bad one, or you will surely stay the same.
Key #2 Change your thinking and what your saying
Our minds and tongues are a very powerful thing, when it comes to our lives. The power of life and death do in fact like in your tongue ( figuratively speaking). Therefore the way you think, therefore you should do. So, if you are trying to change a bad habit, but in the mist of that you are completely down talking everything that you do, then most likely you will not do it. For instance if you are trying to get healthy, and we all know this can be difficult. But if you are saying things like ” I will never get healthy”, ” This is to hard”, and so on, then you basically are talking yourself out of putting the effort to get healthy. Changing your perspective is whats going to help you actually start desiring to want those good habits and not the ones you are used to. I would instead say something like ” I will get healthy, it will require work, but if I stick with it, I will get there.” That way of speaking will motivate you to want to do whatever it takes to get there.
Key #3 Be patient with yourself and know everything takes times
You did not develop a bad habit in one night, therefore it is going to take more than one night to start a new habit. The key is to take everything a day at a time, to be patient with yourself, and plan ways each day to make the new habit apart of you. For instance, if you want to start working out more instead of sitting on the couch. You will have to make sure that you have a plan to make yourself get off that couch and exercise. If you know that when you get home, you have that desire to sit on the couch and do nothing, then why not pack your gym clothes in the car the night before so that you could go to the gym right after work. If you do it this way, you are less likely to be tempted to o home and sit on the couch and not go to the gym. So, just know that planning and having patience with yourself is going to get you a lot further.
Key # 4 Every Effort Counts
When you are changing from one thing to another, it is not only going to take time, but a whole lot of effort. The amount of effort you put in, I believe is what you get back. However, dont expect yourself to just do the best on the first day of changing a new habit. A consistent effort each day for any time is better than doing no time at all. If you are planning and being patient with yourself in each day, you can work towards more once you see that you are being consistent with the first step. Example, when starting to work out, set a small goal such as 20-30 minutes daily, and tell yourself no matter what you are going to do this instead of sitting on the couch or the phone or whatever it maybe. Once, say for at least 3 weeks to a month you have been doing this everyday, then bump it up to 40 minutes and so on and so forth. The key is not to get there quick but to take the time and make every little effort count.
Key #5 Have an accountability partner
We are more likely to not follow through when we have nothing holding us accountable. If you have someone that you can trust to be honest with you, this would be the perfect person. Finding someone that is honest, open, and can understand the change you are trying to make, and to hold you accountable when you are not, and do so in a loving way. This will help you want to stick more to the thought of changing that bad habit.
Key #6 Envision Why You Want to Change this habit
Remembering why you started, or wanted to change this habit in the first place, will be the motivation that you need when you feel like giving up. On the days when you dont feel like doing something envision the reasons why you should feel like doing it because you really want to change. A good idea for this would be to draw, write a note and stick it on your mirror, something in that nature. So, that each and everyday you wake up, you see the goals you have for yourself, and the better you wish to become by changing these habits.
Key # 7 Seek Out Knowledge, Advice
Another reason why habits are not kept, is because we dont have enough of the knowledge or appropriate influence needed to keep up with the habit. If there is a habit you want to change but dont know the best way to, try seeking out books, podcast, blogs or any informative information based around the habit in which you want to change. If there is someone that you admire, that has the habits in which you want to posses, talk to them, ask questions and figure out what techniques helped them, so that you to can apply that to your own life.
Key #8 Plan for Success, Expect Mistakes, But dont give up
Changing an old habit, is not by any means easy, but it can be done if you dont give up on yourself. We will make mistakes, we will fall back sometimes, however the key is to learn why, when, how we make those mistakes, so that then you can try harder the next day. The key is to learn from each day and allow what you learn to keep motivating you to the next day. Do not give up because you miss a day, or because you fall back, instead let those be motivators to want to change even more. Having a plan and sticking to it, can lesson the chances of you making mistakes.
Key # 9 Be Aware of the Bad Habits/ Change one at a time
Having awareness of the habits you wish to change are good. Ask yourself questions like why, how, when. Being able to understand why you do a habit, can help you understand what you need to do to change that habit. Also, remembering to only try to conquer one habit at a time. We also fail in changing habits because we try to change to many at a time, focus on just one habit at a time. I would focus on changing the most harmful, time consuming, or the worst habit first. Once you have successfully conquered changing that habit over a period of time, then work on the next one. If the bigger habit is to hard to accomplish first,then work on a smaller habit.
Key # 10 Believe in Yourself, and the ability to change
We often fail, because we lack belief that we can actually accomplish what we set out to do. If you have to repeat to yourself everyday that you believe in yourself, that you do have the power to change, then do it. If drawing, singing, writing, shouting, whatever it takes to make you believe in you, do it. Because it is only through believing in yourself that you will have the ability to change anything.
Changing habits are not easy and sometimes not fun, but if you keep doing it everyday you will overcome those habit. Many successful people didn’t get where they wanted to overnight, or even off of one try. It will take more than one day, it will take dedication, commitment, consistency, perseverance, discipline and so much more. If changing your habits, will change your life and make it better, make the first step today to take back control of your life by following these steps.
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it