How to Change Your Bad Habits Successfully?

Bad Habits, well we all have them and presumably all of us want to change them. For some, its smoking, some are lazy, others are shy, list of bad habits goes on and on. And equally large is our list of resolutions and promises we make to get rid of these bad habits. But unfortunately only a few of us are able to successfully get rid of our bad habits. Why is it that few are able to do it while the majority fail? Who should be blamed for our inability to break bad habits? Our lack of Self-discipline? Lack of Motivation? Or the way we go about it?

If you ask me, I would say its a mixture of all of them, but the biggest culprit is our approach towards leaving out bad habits. We expect our bad habits to go away instantly and we aggressively approach this mission; rather than going about it more strategically. Overnight, we can get rid of few easy habits but old bad habits require time and a better approach; something which we conveniently forget while making New Year Resolutions. So in order to effectively come out of your bad habits I would like share with you Three Stages to Break Bad Habits which I too used to change my bad habits.

First Stage
This is the initial phase of your journey and probably you are full of motivation, but you need to understand Rome wasn't built in a day thus don't try to be over aggressive nor try to do anything complicated.

  • Set Your Goal and don't be overly ambitious.
  • Read about how people worked their way through similar habits. Talk to people who have been there and done that.
  • Prepare Yourself for the long haul and the battle ahead. Get things you may need over the time in your quest, prepare the list of people who might help you in your endeavour. List down problems you may face in the journey and how you will face them.


Second Stage
By now, your motivational levels might have dropped down drastically, and you might even want to get back to your old habit, while some people may become more aggressive in this stage and might just feel they have won the battle. No matter in what category you fall, my advice to you is exercise some self-control.

  • Continue with the good work. Rather than going back to your habit or thinking you have overcome it, continue with the good work.
  • Write about your experience and how you are feeling; every day. I don't want you to write essays, just write 3-4 lines in a diary. And whenever you feel demotivated read through past entries.
  • Seek support from your family and people around you in keeping you motivated.
  • Find new good habits. In order to replace your bad habit, try to find their good replacements to keep you occupied and busy.


Third Stage: Go for the Kill
After going through two stages, you have come to a point, where you are sure that you would be successfully change your bad habit. But a word of caution- if you have raced through initial two stages, you might just lose your battle.

  • Test Yourself and try to do things which might lure to that habit again.
  • Read your notes that you had written in Second Stage. Try to feel the emotions you went through in order to come to these stage where you can overpower your bad habit; this will make you resist the attractions of the old habit.
  • A little self-discipline .

Key to Succeed in Your Endeavour
There is no time limit or prescribed duration that you should spend on each stages, so don't rush through. And if you really want to know, let me tell you first and second stages are the foundation on which the success in the third stage is built. So spend all your time, efforts and (if need be) money, on first two stages.

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