3 Steps To Change Bad Habits
Posted on April 3rd, 2017 by The DSWA
Your bad habits did not come about over night and they will not go away over night.
There are three simple steps to changing a bad habit and creating a new habit.
Changing Bad Habits
A habit, good or bad is something you do automatically and without thinking.
Basically a habit is a choice you make so many times that you no longer have to consciously choose because it becomes second nature. The habit of brushing your teeth is not a decision you consciously make each day... today I will brush my teeth. It is something that you do automatically.
Any choice, good or bad can become just as automatic as brushing your teeth when you choose it often enough that it becomes second nature.
Here are the three simple steps to changing a bad habit to a good one:
- Become aware of the bad habit
- Become willing to change and make a decision to do so
- Make a good choice one day at a time-one choice at a time for 51 days
Recognizing a habit is the first step to change. Do you have a habit that you perceive as bad? What bad habit would make you a more effective business person when you overcome it?
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Create a list of several of your bad habits. A few habits that may be affecting your work are:
- Chronically late
- Not returning phone calls
- Talking to much and not listening
- Eating fast food every day
- Not keeping promises
- Negative self talk
- Not paying bills on time
- Allowing the mail to pile up
The list could go on for ever!
Make your own list of bad habits, and then highlight the top three that you would like to change.
Over the next few days become more aware of how these habits affect your life and business.
Start a list for each bad habit and jot down the consequences of each habit.
If your bad habit is chronically late, the consequences may include, embarrassing the kids, missing appointments, clients perceive me as not being professional, etc. Then take it a step further and list the long term effects of continuing to live with this bad habit.
People who are chronically late, waste money on cancellation fees, you may be developing the same habit in your children, possibly long term you will loose business because of your habit of showing up late for shows. Take a couple of days to become acutely aware of the 3 habits you have decided to focus on and the consequences they bring to your life.
Make a decision to change the bad habit that is giving you the most grief.
Decide which habit you are going to change and make a list of choices you can make instead of the bad choices or habit.
For example, the chronically late person may decide to begin preparation to leave for an appointment a good hour before the appointed departure time. A chronically late person may set an alarm so that they become aware that the departure time is approaching. Or maybe wearing a watch would be a new choice. Make a list of changes or choices you can make in your life that will result in a new habit. Decide to make those choices! Making a decision is the most important step here. It can be easy to see what you want to change and without a decision nothing will change. Make a decision to create a new habit. I have decided to be on time to all my appointments one day at a time-one appointment at a time. The decision coupled with the list of better choices will put you on track for changing your bad habit and creating a good habit.
The final step is to do it.
The follow up is key. Life is a continuous string of choices.
You can choose to perpetuate your bad habit or you can choose to create your new habit. Take each choice one choice at a time, one day at a time and do it. You did not decide to do it for the rest of your life. That would be pretty overwhelming. Today you can do it. Then tomorrow you can decide again to do it. Just keep the follow through.
Keep choosing a choice that will grow a new habit. You can make a good choice each time you have a choice to make.
It is definitely a simple process to become aware of your choices and make the best choice you can one choice at a time and create a new habit.
If it was easy, then we would have no bad habits.
Everyone is not willing to change because change is uncomfortable and requires effort. You did not develop your bad habits over night, so do not expect to create new habits over night. It will take 6-8 days of good choices to even feel a little bit comfortable with the new you.
At 16 days you will begin to get a routine going. When you have performed your new habit for 51 days you can congratulate yourself on creating a new habit. Now the new habit will be second nature, just like brushing your teeth.
Choose another habit and continue on the path to more successes!