All of us have habits, some of them not so pleasant. The good thing about habits is that they can be changed in just two weeks of strict adherence. For instance, are you a nail biter, a pen clicker, YouTube binge-watcher? Just because it’s a habit does not mean it can’t be broken! It’s time to kick your bad habits to the curb!
1. The first step to identifying a bad habit is recognizing the habit when it is happening, and what happened directly before it. Usually, bad habits are a result of something else- there’s usually a reason why this habit manifested. Perhaps you click your pen constantly after being given a deadline, or you bite your nails when you’re in a tough situation. Identifying these triggers is the key to eliminating the habit in its entirety!
2. Now that you have established when your habit is taking place and recognized the trigger, aim to redirect that habit to something rewarding. For instance, if you are a nail biter when you’re given strict deadlines, grab ahold of your stress ball and give that a few squeezes. Afterward, immediately redirect your attention to making a detailed list of how you will accomplish the given task within the deadline to avoid the anxiety associated with strict time lines.
3. Make small changes to your routine to further nip your bad habits. If you overeat while binge watching the evening news, try turning off your television for dinner time and eat at the dining table. Combating a bad habit is as easy as having healthy snack alternatives available rather than chips, or having a variety of stress management tools within reach.
When you feel the need to resort back to a bad habit, remember to not suppress your thoughts, but rather, acknowledge the habit you are dissolving from your routine and proceed to redirect that habit! After a week of not biting your nails or binge eating during the evening news, reward yourself with a spa day, manicure, or even an ice cream treat! You deserve it!