May 26, 2024

9 Realistic Steps On How To Break Bad Habits And Build Good Ones

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No matter what bad habits you may have formed or what weaknesses you wish to overcome, you will find the remedy for it within yourself.

Whether the habit be a vicious one or some foolish little thing that hinders you in some way, you can get rid of it; you can tum your weaknesses into strength; you can conquer all the enemies of your success and happiness by bringing your divinity, the sublime power that is latent in the great within you, to your aid.

All people are creatures of habit. We tend to do certain things in a certain way whenever we are faced by them. A "habit" can be defined as an "addiction," "custom," "mannerism," or "nature."

Some habits or rituals are quite useful. They establish a tradition or routine, thereby providing a measure of order, efficiency, and meaning to a life. Alas, some habits can also lock you into inflexible mind body patterns and inhibit your openness to embrace change.

Habits are a way of life patterns we follow because we are accustomed to following them. Some habits are good; others bad.

The habits we develop in performing our jobs often spell the difference between mediocrity and excellent performance.

In this guide we will examine how habits are developed and how to break bad habits, and replace them with good habits, and generally build up patterns of behavior that will lead us to success.

#1. How To Break Bad Habits And Build Good Habits.

The dominant, creative, positive character becomes so by the constant repetition of positive acts and creative thoughts, until such brain processes have become habitual.

We may build up a forceful or a weak character, according to our habit of thought.

If we hold a self-confident, self-assertive, decisive mental attitude, we will become strong and creative; if we harbor the doubtful, the hesitating, the uncertain, the distrustful, the self-effacing, self-depreciating, self-denunciating thought, we will become negative and ineffectual.

It is just a question of which way you set your brain by habitual thinking.

We hear a great deal about luck and circumstances effecting our success or lack of it in our careers.

Sure; they may pray some part, but more often it is the habits we develop and apply that determine the direction we take. We do not have to choose to go in the wrong direction.

All we have to do is follow our inclination, our passion, our normal appetites, our mental inertia, and habit will do the rest.

Habit never rests, awake or asleep; it is constantly winding its invisible cords about our thoughts, our character. Whether it is for our weal or our woe, habit is gradually taking charge of us.

What we do voluntarily today we shall do more easily tomorrow, and with greater facility the next day.

The best way to develop good and successful habits is, instead of trying to root out a defect or a vicious quality directly, cultivate the opposite quality.

Persist in this, and the other will gradually die. Kill the negative thoughts by cultivating the, positive.

The craving for something higher and better is the best possible antidote or remedy for the lower tendencies which one wishes to get rid of.

When the general habit of always aspiring, moving upward and climbing to something higher and better is formed, the undesirable qualities and habits will fade away; they will die from lack of nourishment.

#2. Breaking Bad Habits.

It is not an easy matter to break bad habits of long standing. But the fact that it can be done at any age has been proved by thousands of men and women who conquered habits that' had almost destroyed their careers and may even have wrecked their lives.

The problem with most people in trying to break away from bad habits or to create good ones is that they do not realize their latent strength and do not make a loud enough call upon their higher, more potent selves.

They do not half exert the power of their subconscious mind, the great lever that God has given us to enable us to lift ourselves up to a godlike state. Their resolutions are weak, wishy-washy. They do not put vim enough, grit enough, into them.

One excellent way to kill a bad habit is to strangle it by cutting off the food that nourished it. Don't handle a bad habit tenderly, or try to break it off little by little. Make your attack on the enemy boldly and confidently.

#3. William James Method To Break Bad Habits.

Follow the method suggested by Professor William James to free ourselves from the power of an old habit and to form a new one. "We must take care," he said, "to wrench ourselves from the old habit by as strong and decided initiative as possible.

We must accumulate all the possible circumstances that shall reinforce the right motive.

We must put ourselves assiduously in positions that encourage the new way. We must make engagements incompatible with the old.

We must develop our resolution with every aid we know." The only way to quit bad habits is to quit and to firmly resolve that you will have nothing to do with the thing that is hurting you. 

If you seriously commit yourself to your resolution and burn your bridges behind you, this very commitment will call to your aid mighty hidden resources of whose very existence you were" perhaps, ignorant.

But as long as you leave open a way of retreat, and think that perhaps when the temptation of the old habit becomes too strong you will indulge just a little, you weaken your chances of mastery.

This is not easy to do on the job, where many of the "bad habits" have been ingrained in the way you deal with problems. Often you have used techniques successfully so often that you assume they will always work. They become your "habitual" way of doing the job.

But circumstances change and what worked in the past no longer is as effective.

Many people stubbornly stick to their habits. "It will work because it always has worked."

Smart-people recognize and accept that the habitual approach is not the best way of dealing with the problem, break away from the old habits, and seek new approaches.

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#4. How Procrastination Stops Us From Breaking or Quitting Bad Habits.

One of the most common bad habits that occur in the workplace is procrastination. Tomorrow, tomorrow, not today all the lazy people say." You don't have to be lazy to procrastinate. Most people procrastinate. 

We tend to put off until the last possible minute things we do not like to do or things we are afraid to do.

There are many reasons we procrastinate. We may not like what we have to do, we may prefer to do a different task but often we procrastinate because we are afraid we will fail.

Everywhere we see splendid ability tied up and compelled to do mediocre work because of the suppressing, discouraging influence of fear

On every hand there are competent people whose efforts are nullified and whose ability to achieve is practically ruined by the development of this monster, which will in time make the most decided person irresolute, the ablest timid and inefficient.

There is no moment like the present. There is no moment at all, no instant force and energy, but in the present. The energy wasted in postponing today's duties until tomorrow would often do the work.

How much harder and disagreeable, too, it is to do work that has been put off. Work that could have been done at the time with pleasure or keen enthusiasm becomes drudgery after it has been delayed for days or weeks.

Promptness takes the drudgery out of ail occupation. Putting off usually means leaving off, and going to do becomes going undone.

Doing a deed is like sowing a seed; if it is not done at just the right time, it will be forever out of season.

The summer of eternity will not be long enough to bring to maturity the fruit of a delayed action.

People who always act promptly, even if they make occasional mistakes, will succeed when procrastinators, even if they have the better judgment, will fail.

#5. Suggestions For Overcoming Procrastination And Breaking Bad Habits.

  1. Procrastination is not just failing to meet deadlines it is failing to get started. So get going! Remember Ben Franklin's adage: "Don't put off until tomorrow what can be done today." 
  2. Put aside the fear of doing something new or different. Delve into the subject and take action
  3. When faced with a complex project, don't let it overwhelm you. Break it into manageable components. Set a time schedule for each component.
  4. Do the things you fear most or dislike most when you are freshest and most energetic.
  5. Build in interim completion points. Motivating yourself to begin a project that won't come to fruition until a long time in the future can be difficult. By setting interim completion dates for each stage of the project, you get the sense of gratification seeing progress made as you go along.
  6. Make an arbitrary start. If you don't know how to begin a difficult project, rather than keep mulling it over, make a preliminary assumption and start working. The work itself will stimulate your brain. If it doesn't work out, you can start again. It is better to take an active role than to keep stalling on beginning the project.
  7. When working on a special project that is over and above the regular work you do, it is tempting to put it off "until I have some free time." Set aside a special time each day to work on it.
  8. Give yourself a reward when you have completed a task on time that you have usually put off doing.

#6. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses To Break Bad Habits.

If you have some vicious habit keeping you back, impeding success on your job, you will be greatly strengthened in your power to overcome it by constantly saying to yourself,

  • "I know this thing (calling it by name) is holding me back. 
  • I am not as efficient as I should be;
  • I do not think as clearly,
  • I cannot control my mind so well as I could were I not hampered by this weakness.
  • "I despise those bad habits which will keep me back and which will tend to make me a failure.
  • I know that unless I change this habit, it will bind 'me more strongly to it, and make my chance of breaking away so much less." 

Just talk to yourself in this way whenever you are alone and you will be surprised to see how quickly the audible suggestion will weaken the grip of this bad habits.

In a short time your self-talks will so strengthen your commitment that you will be able to entirely eradicate your weakness.

#7. Story On How To Break Bad Habits.

Emily R. was always in a rush. Even as a schoolgirl, she hurried through her class work and home assignments, anxious to finish I them and get out and play.

When she obtained her first job as a data entry clerk, she took the same approach. She was always the first to finish an assignment, but it was frequently filled with errors and had to be redone.

Her supervisor cautioned her to slow down and be more careful, but her old school-time practice could not be broken.

After a while her boss put her on probation. She said, "Emily, you are a bright person, but your bad habit of putting speed ahead of accuracy will keep you from ever doing good work.

You must break that bad habit. If you do not improve, we will have to let you go." She suggested that in her next assignment, Emily concentrate on accuracy and not think at all about the time.

Emily was shaken up. She liked the job, but prided herself on her speed. She resolved to try to break that bad habit.

On the next assignment she slowed down for a while, but after a short time began to speed up again.

She stopped suddenly, checked the work she had completed, and noted that the first part was totally accurate, but there were several errors in the next part, where she had gone faster.

She corrected the errors and continued the work. She said to herself,

  • The bad habit is placing me at a great disadvantage in my job; it is holding me up to ridicule, to unfavorable comparison with others. 
  • I know that I have more ability than many of those about me who are accomplishing a great deal more.
  • Now I am going to conquer this thing that is destroying my prospects.
  • I am going to get freedom from this urge to put speed before accuracy, no matter how hard it may be." 

It took Emily several weeks to finally program her subconscious mind to accept her resolution to minimize speed and concentrate on accuracy, resulting in her becoming one of the top producers in her department.

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#8. Don't Dodge the Truth.

Acknowledge your bad habits. Do not dodge the issue. You cannot overcome a bad habit if you refuse to admit it. You are living in a psychological prison of your own making. You are bound by your beliefs, opinions, training, and environmental influences.

Like most people, you are a creature of habit. You are conditioned to react the way you do. You can ingrain the idea of improving your work habits into your mentality so that it reaches your subconscious depths.

At that point, you will achieve a new understanding of how your mind works.

You will discover within yourself the infinite resources to back up your statement and prove the truth to yourself.

If you have a keen desire to free yourself from these detriments to your capabilities, you are already 51 percent healed.

When your desire to give up the bad habit is greater than your need to continue it, you will be amazed to discover that overcoming it is but a step away.

Whatever thought you anchor the mind upon, the mind magnifies.

Engage the mind on the concept of success and achievement.

Keep it focused on this new direction of attention.

In doing so, you generate feelings that gradually pervade the concept of success and achievement.

Whatever idea you emotionalize in this way is accepted by your subconscious and brought to pass.

#9. Final Steps On How To Break Bad Habits.

It is never easy to break bad habits, but it can be done.

Here are eleven suggestions that should help you to break your bad habits and free yourself from patterns of behavior that have kept you from being the man or woman you truly want to be:

  1. Choose the habit you wish to change. Target a habit that is not only a disturbing element in your life, but one which holds you back from achieving your goals. Select a self-defeating pattern which you can focus your discontent and turn around constructively. 
  2. Assess the problem. After choosing a target habit, identify what you actually do and what you really want to do. Break a big problem into manageable bite-size pieces.
  3. Establish a challenging and achievable goal and time frame. The goals should be challenging yet obtainable; if you properly and gradually stretch your horizons and actions, you should reach your desired objectives.
  4. Prepare to grieve the loss of the habit. Both before you start and or during your habit-changing program, don't be surprised if you experience a poignant, if not profound, sense of loss. You may miss the satisfaction of finding mistakes when you micromanage or the high you may get by finishing a project first even if not most accurately. But in time your subconscious mind will adjust and you will no longer feel that loss.
  5. Consult with a coach or counselor. Seek the "experience and wisdom of a friend or mentor or a professional counselor to act as your coach in this start-up phase. He or she will help you ( set goals, provide tips and support for managing the uncomfortable emotions that are likely to surface, and give you suggestions and encouragement when you fall behind.
  6. Take action. Do it! Take the first step. You'll quickly get feedback regarding what " you can and can't handle, along with available resources. You'll definitely glean insight regarding I vital survival knowledge, skills, and critical supports.
  7. Join with groups of others who wish to break the same bad habit or develop a new habit. When several people with the same goal interact, there is an added dimension to the support each gives the other members of the group. Look into such groups as Alcoholics Anonymous, geared to help with specific situations.
  8. Do it systematically. Behavior modification is an evolutionary process; it often comes in three distinct phases: (1) freeing yourself from the old pattern, (2) making the change, and , ) , (3) mastering the new pattern. The first phase involves acknowledging the self-defeating patterns and starting to let go. The second phase tries to incorporate new skills, tools, resources, and positive activities. If the first step is depressing, the middle phase can be anxiety provoking, as you awkwardly apply new insights. The final phase occurs when trial and error, along with practice, lead to the mastery of the new habit. The change starts feeling more natural.
  9. Don't give up! One of the seductive traps about behavior modification is that sometimes there is rapid learning at the beginning of the process. And then you hit a plateau.
  10. Don't give up. Don't get overly optimistic after quick victories or too deflated with some setbacks. It's nature's way to ebb and flow and to get knocked down and then get up and moving again. Success is getting up one more time than we fall down; being courageous one more time than we are fearful; being trusting one more time than we are anxious. 
  11. Pursue the path. Pursuing the path you take, overcoming hurdles and obstacles along the way, is an integral part of the learning process. Breaking, making, and mastering a deep-seated, intricate behavior-learning chain is a lifetime process.

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Manish Yadav


My name is Manish Yadav and I’m the owner of the blog "Love Finds its Way". My advice does away with the manipulations and mind games recommended by magazines and the surface level advice of TV gurus… We’ll dive DEEP to you actionable steps you can use today. Over 900,000 men & women have transformed their lives, and I've been featured in Lifehack, Return of Kings, Menimprovement, Urban Dater, and so on...
...My only intention is to help you have all of achieve your dreams and desires and live a beautiful and prosperous life.
And we’re just getting started!

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