People pick up many habits throughout their lives, some are good some are bad. The problem being that although habits are easy to pick up, they become that much harder to let go off. So when we pick up a bad habit and look to let go of it, the process can become extremely challenging and mentally taxing. So much so that many try and fail multiple times. Things like a new years resolution are a great way for people to identify their bad habits and resolve to quit them, however without a proper plan with defined goals, these resolutions often fizzle out, and worse, a bad approach to quitting a habit can lead to even more psychological problems and worsen the situation.
So, whatever be the vice that afflicts you, whether it is smoking, or coffee addiction, or the uncontrollable desire to eat, here are certain tips to follow that will guide you in your effort to kick the habit and lead a healthier and better life.
1. Chalking out goals and preparing oneself for a little discomfort
The first step in kicking a bad habit is to identify it and acknowledge the need to change. People who mentally accept a problem and are willing to bring about change are much more likely to succeed than people who refuse to accept the flaws in their ways. Also, change is not something that humans adapt to easily, so it will take considerable willpower to over the discomfort and this takes some mental preparation.
2. Involving friends and family
Discuss your goals with your close friends and family. Their support and motivation will go a long way in achieving your goals. Making lifestyle changes are hard by themselves, but when doing it alone, it can become unbearable with chances of mental breakdowns. Involving people who care for your well being can help motivate you and provide cheer in the toughest moments to help overcome the withdrawal symptoms.
3. Establishing clear and achievable sub goals and timelines
The road to quitting a bad habit is a long one that takes considerable patience and determination. To make the process easier, the goal can be broken down into smaller sub goals with set achievable timelines to conquer them. Keeping track of one’s progress is the best way to evaluate progress and with each sub goal achieved, it also improves morale and the mental strength to carry on further.
4. Adopting new good habits to provide a distraction
Often in the process of getting rid of one bad habit, we develop another one. To prevent this, it is important to consciously take up a few good habits to keep the mind distracted and to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Habits like exercise, meditation or yoga are excellent alternatives that help rejuvenate mind and body.
5. Set permissible limits for slippage
It is not possible to give up a habit in a day. There will be some slippage, where we finally cave in to the growing desire despite anyone’s best efforts. The key here is to keep such slippages few and far between. The plan that is chalked out must take into account the possibility of a withdrawal but it is imperative to keep such occurrences within set limits.
6. Establishing a reward system
Who does not like a little reward for their hard work? Have yourself and the people around you realize each small achievement in the path to kicking a bad habit and reward yourself justly for each milestone achieved. A small gift, or indulging in an activity that you find pleasurable is sure to bring happiness and keep the drive to achieve more milestones going.
Bad habits lead to a bad lifestyle and lots of misery and discomfort. It is essential that one identifies them and strives to be completely rid of them. The process is not easy but these are some tips that will make this difficult road a little easier, leading to a healthy and happy life.