Action Steps To Break Bad Habits
It's hard to believe that we've been living in a pandemic for more than a year now. Like most, you've probably been wondering if 2021 will be the year things somewhat normalize.
Now I don't want to burst your bubble, but this (pandemic) will most likely be our new normal for a while! Mask will become our society's most popular fashion accessory, and our routines will continue to change as we adapt to this new normal.
I'm sure many, if not all, of your habits and routines, are unrecognizable now. After a full year of quarantine and COVID caution, there have been a few bad habits I've developed in my personal life—my sleep pattern being one of them!
It's hard to believe, but I've had to retrain my thinking around habits and how to break those that aren't ideal!
Here are a few action steps we can take together to break these bad habits.
1. Identify The Bad Habit You've Developed
Remember, the first step to correcting bad habits is identifying what triggers them in the first place. Spend some time observing yourself and tracking your routines.
Note things like:
Where and when does this behavior happen?
Does it occur after something else?
Am I consciously aware of it?
Are others involved in or influencing this behavior?
How often does it happen?
After a few weeks of observing, now you should have enough data to devise a plan and start removing those triggers.
2. Focus On Why You Want To Change
Having a "why" for anything you decide to do in life is essential and understanding why you want to break a bad habit is no exception.
Take a few minutes right now or later on today to highlight a few reasons why you want to break your lousy quarantine habits!
Now take those reasons, write them down and place them somewhere you're guaranteed to see them every day. This subtle reminder will keep you motivated and focus on adjusting those habits.
3. Prepare For Slip-Ups
Like I said earlier, this pandemic is our new normal now and will be for a while, which means many of us are still adjusting. If that's you, then be gentle with yourself and prepare for slip-ups now.
Now I never said correcting these bad habits would be easy. It's going to take discipline and focus, especially with our outside world being so unpredictable.
If you slip up and fall back into an old habit, it's ok! Pick yourself up and start again!
4. Change Your Environment
If you want to change your life, you have to change your surroundings. As an example: "you'll never stop eating junk food if your kitchen cabinets are full of it."
Try decluttering your space and removing any and everything that could potentially distract you from your goals and building new habits.
Keep in mind that this also includes people. Sometimes the people we surround ourselves with can negatively influence our lives and impact our habits.
5. Start Small
If you try to correct every single bad habit you picked up and developed during quarantine, all at the same time, you probably won't make any progress.
The trick, however, to successfully breaking bad habits isn't a trick at all. You have to start small and move at a pace that works for you.
6. Know That You're Not Alone
You might have early success breaking some of those bad habits you developed, but if you plan to address those habits tied to you emotionally and mentally, then know that you don't have to work through them alone.
Seek out professional support from a therapist or counselor, as they can provide further structure and guidance for you.
If you need an additional boost, I have a playlist of videos on YouTube all about habits, and these conversations are guaranteed to pull things into perspective for you!
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