Kicking a bad habit can be a journey in itself, especially if you’ve been attached to the habit for a number of years. Habits like smoking, gambling, alcohol, not exercising, poor spending, and more can destroy your life in a matter of months. However, bad lifestyle habits come in many forms, some more serious than others.
Either way, there comes a time to break bad habits and get your life back on track. Herre’s our guide on kicking bad lifestyle habits so you can take back control.
1. Find A Constructive Replacement
Most people fill their time with their bad habits. If you’re a smoker, you probably make a social occasion out of smoking in public, catching up with friends on the phone or smoking with them. If you’re a gambler, you likely spend a lot of time online or in casinos to fulfill your desires.
Finding a replacement is the first step to kicking a habit. What can you do instead of that bad habit that will actually benefit your life instead of destroy it? You can pick up an instrument, enroll in college, learn a new skill, or even take up hiking or yoga. Anything you can do that isn’t your bad habit will help distract you and keep you on track to your goal of ditching the bad habit(s).
2. Make A Plan
You know that you need to kick your habit, but do you know how and when you’re going to do so? It’s important to make a plan and set goals along the way. Let’s say you’re a frequent smoker and tobacco user. It’s time to quit for your health, but you know it’s going to be difficult. Start by reducing your cigarette intake by one per day. Or, you can use alternative tobacco products like tobacco free pouches to help segway into a tobacco-free lifestyle.
3. It’s Ok To Make A Mistake
We all have a negative relationship with what we view as “failure”. The fear of failure is a serious inhibitor to change and improvement, so it’s time to take a different look at F.E.A.R. Notice the acronym? Instead of viewing fear as a negative, replace it with this acronym:
Fear is usually of the unknown, of the outcomes we can’t see, of the factors we can’t control. Guess what? You’re probably going to mess up while kicking a bad habit. You’re going to have setbacks. You’re going to “fail” your way forward. Failure only becomes a negative when you let it knock you down and you don’t get back up.
4. Find Support
Everyone needs help once in a while. There’s no way to navigate the challenges of life entirely alone, and with the wealth of resources and communities offered by the web, you don’t have to. There are hundreds, if not thousands of support groups for just about everything you can think of online. Any habit you’re looking to kick probably has a forum, website, Facebook group, or sub-Reddit dedicated to it.
Support from other people can increase your chances of success and make the journey that much less difficult along the way.
5. Know Your Worth
When we get into bad habits, we subconsciously create an extra bad habit: self-deprecation. It’s one thing to be critical of yourself in a constructive way, but it’s another thing entirely to constantly beat yourself up on a daily basis. You’re human. You’re not perfect. You can change. You can move forward. You are worth that much.
Put your foot down and stop beating yourself up. You deserves happiness just as much as the next person, but only you can make that happen for yourself. No one else is going to handle your business for you, and if they did, it wouldn’t be done right. Your way.
6. Remember Why You Started
When you’re dragging through the mud, pushing uphill towards that goal, and you don’t have the strength to go on, remember why you started this journey to begin with. Are you trying to be healthier? Are you alienated from friends and family because of your bad habits? Are you trying to improve your life so you can find a partner?
That initial motivation can be enough to push you over the next hill toward your goal when you’re exhausted.
7. Track your Progress
Tracking your progress gives you an anchor you can hang onto when things get tough. Look at how far you’ve come! 3 weeks sober, one month tobacco-free, exercising for sixteen days in a row. Those are things to be proud of. Track each milestone, document it, and look back on it when you feel yourself slipping back into bad habits. You’ve done a great job, don’t stop now!