Character Intellectual

Why You Should Identify Your Bad Habits

Why You Should Identify Your Bad Habits
Written by Don Adriano

We all have bad habits, habits that limit our productivity and cause us other problems. Fortunately, though, bad habits can be overcome. Of course, you can’t overcome your bad habits if you’re not aware that they exist or that they’re bad and this is the reason why you should identify your bad habits.

To become a better, more productive person, you need to take an honest inventory of yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can work on getting rid of those bad habits that are holding you back from being the best version of yourself.

Separate Them Into Categories

One way to determine your bad habits is to split them into categories. You could try, for example, to examine the categories of mind, body, and spirit. Then, ask yourself, “What am I doing that’s bad for my mind?” Once you’ve identified negative habits in that area, you can move on to your body and your spirit.

Things that are bad for your mind might include negative thinking or limiting beliefs. Things that are bad for your body could be things like drinking too much alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Many of the things that are bad for your mind and body will probably also make their way onto your spirit list.

Becoming aware of your negative habits might not be fun, but remember, once you realize these habits, you can overcome them, so in that way, the exercise is empowering.

Ask Others

Sometimes, it’s hard to see what we’re doing wrong. We may be able to identify the problems and bad habits of everyone else, but when it comes to ourselves, we’re often “too close for comfort” and lack that level of insight.

For that reason, you can ask people who know you well and who have your best interests at heart what your bad habits are. They can probably honestly tell you things that you do that are bad for you in some way.

Don’t get defensive or angry; remember that your loved ones are trying to help you. And, while it may not feel good to have all your bad habits listed out, this is what it takes to overcome those bad habits and to be a better person inside and out.

Everyone has bad habits, but remember, smart, productive people are people who recognize their bad habits and do away with them.

Our lives are filled with habits. We often engage in daily routines without much thought to the motor sequences that make them up. Habits are essential to getting many things done, like brushing our teeth every morning, for instance. Unfortunately, they come in two varieties: good habits and bad habits.

Bad habits can have negative and long-lasting effects on you. Once developed, they can be difficult to shake, leaving you in a habit loop. In order to break a bad habit’s cycle, you first must identify whatever is triggering it. There is generally a cue that fits into one of the following five categories:

* Location

* Time

* Emotional State

* Other People

* An immediately Preceding Action

Each time you engage in your bad habit, take note of these five things. When you start to see similarities, you will know what is triggering your bad habit and can take steps to eliminate it.

There are some ways give yourself an edge in breaking bad habits. First be sure your habit is just that, a habit, and not something more. Smoking cigarettes and reliance on caffeine, for example, are substance addictions, not bad habits. They require a bit more work to reverse than bad habits, so be sure to tackle those differently than you would a habit.

Next, make your bad habit a public affair. It might not be easy, but tell people you know about your habit. This step will have multiple benefits. Others will tell you to stop, giving you more of an incentive to. They might have the same bad habit and decide to break it as well, giving you a partner in the exercise. Or, they may have already quit the habit and have specific tips or techniques on how to help you break it.

Another tip: take it slow. Changing your habitual behaviors is difficult, and can take a lot of mental energy. When you forget and revert to your bad habit, it is especially frustrating. Take small steps to ease yourself into the new behavior.

Making meaningful, long-lasting changes centers on your ability to form and execute new activities consistently enough that they become habitual. Identifying and understanding the triggers of your bad habits will allow you to make progress in correcting them.


About the author

Don Adriano

Founder & CEO of Freelionaire
Life Coach, Entrepreneur, Investor, Author, Speaker and Mentor

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