Bad habits don’t appear suddenly. They develop over time as certain behavior is repeated over and over and begin to overlay the way you work. The good news is that through awareness and some effort you can break your bad habits! Here are 5 steps to help turn bad habits on their head:
Step 1: Name Your Bad Habits.
Bad habits are widespread that can have a negative impact, affecting your personal life, your job, even your health. (You can apply these 5 steps in any area of your life where your habits are affecting you but for this article, I will be focusing and using examples related to health & wellness.)
Take a look at the list of habits that apply to you. Add you own, too.
__ Making excuses
__ Not prioritizing
__ Not keeping a to do list
Step 2: Identify the Negative Impact.
Look at the items you checked and pick one that you are ready and willing to put effort into changing. What negative impact has this bad habit had on your health? For example, if you checked “making excuses” the negative impact on yourself & others may include:
Too busy & tired to exercise; health & weight issues, fatigue
I’m a terrible cook, so I eat out a lot; digestive issues, skin disorders
My bad health habit is:
The negative impact is:
Step 3: Create Positive Results!
Next, think about the positive results you could obtain if you changed this habit. How would turning this habit around impact your health & life? How would it impact those around you, your friends, family, etc.?
Example: When I start exercising I will have more energy and less stress, and will start feeling good! I will be able to enjoy more time with friends & family!
The positive results of changing my habit are:
Step 4: Break Down the Habit in to Specific Steps.
If you look closely, all negative habits are made up of a series of steps and thoughts that go along with them. For example, (we’ll stick with excuses) think of the first time you used an excuse, probably to get out of something you didn’t want to do? It was no doubt a very good excuse and no one gave you a hard time about it and so it made you feel good and accomplished your goal.
Your negative health habits also have an order of action and thoughts that go along with them. Purge them here:
Step 5: Be The Change You Want To BE!
Now it’s time to get creative and think of alternative ways you could act and think regarding the actions so as to turn them into good health habits.
Example: When a friend asks me to go to the gym or a yoga class with them, I will make sure to have a change of clothes to wear and also bring a healthy snack to eat before hand to help with my energy level. I know exercising will increase my energy, decrease my stress level, and I will feel better for it.
My alternative response will be: