Life is a process made up of our habits. The results we are getting from each day we live, good or bad, are directly related to those habits. Bad habits keep you from living the life you desire to live. Not only can they steal your time and energy they will affect you both mentally and physically. Good habits get and keep you on the path to living life as a masterpiece. Good habits will help you discover how to live in joy, peace, purpose, and fulfillment.
So why do we continue to do bad habits? And the more important question what can we do to change from bad habits to good habits? What you do with the answer will ultimately allow or limit you to live life fully and completely. The good news is, you can replace bad habits with good habits.
Don’t Eliminate: Replace
Too often, the expectation is that you can eliminate bad habits without replacing them with good ones. It doesn’t work. There is a reason you developed the bad habit to begin with, an unmet need, a lack of understanding or poor guidance. Regardless, it is nearly impossible to stick with the routine of simply no longer practicing the bad habit. Recognize the need or reason you do the bad habit and focus on replacing the bad habit with a good one.
Satisfy The Need
Let’s look at this in dealing with a bad habit that is not life threatening but one you may consider bad and want to replace; nail biting. Why does someone bite their nails? Is it a reaction to stress or nervousness? By recognizing the reason or need, you can develop a good habit that will satisfy that need. If it is nervousness, what habit can you do that would be good for you when you feel nervous? You then replace the habit of nail biting with the new habit. If the need goes unmet by a new good habit, your brain will automatically take you back to the old bad habits.
One you have a replacement habit ready to go, you need to also eliminate as many triggers for the bad habits as possible. For instance, if you were to say that watching too much T.V. was a bad habit that is causing you to waste your life away, your replacement habit may be to choose to watch T.V. for a limited amount of time per day. Your trigger may be that you tend to sit in your easy chair and begin to flip the channels to see what’s on. You can eliminate that trigger by getting rid of the easy access of cable and use an on demand service only. By eliminating the trigger you will help yourself to replace the old habit of flipping the channels and watching too much T.V. with a set amount of time with your favorite on demand shows.
Breaking bad habits and replacing them with new ones not only takes time and effort, but perseverance. Regardless of how many times you try and fail to replace your old habit, keep trying. Don’t give up because it didn’t work right away; persevere. You can and should replace bad habits with good ones that are going to lead you on the path of living the life you were created to live.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
What bad habit are you working on replacing with a good one? What are you doing to make it happen? Leave your comments and questions below.