Bad Habits. We all have them. Maybe it is biting your nails, a few too many drinks, smoking, interrupting people, or any other unhealthy or annoying routine. We all try to get rid of them and improve ourselves. However, many times we are not successful. Why?
I decided to go on a quest to find out why we have these habits and how we can overcome them. To do so, I learned as much as I could about the subject. I read articles, watched videos, and listened to experts. Below is my simplified conclusion.
Why We Have Habits
It turns out that humans can be pretty simple and sometimes relatively predictable. If you have ever heard about a conditioned response or Pavlov's dogs, you might have a hint about how it all works. Basically, our brains reward us for doing certain things. The brain tells us that we really need to remember where we found that sugary treat and if we eat it, we will feel better.
How To Break Them
Sadly, there is no one simple solution out there for getting rid of nasty habits. Or for creating healthy new ones. However, there are a few strategies that can help along with your own willpower and determination.
Although there is no magic bullet, I have tried to outline the process in a simple format using the following four goal areas to focus on. Within each area, I have included examples of ways to achieve them.
We are naturally curious. Learning more about habits by reading, watching, and listening more about how to lose the bad one and create good ones. Also, be curious about yourself. Explore and observe as much as you can about your habits. What are you doing when a bad habit occurs? How does your body feel? What state of mind are you in? Where are you? What time of day is it?
Likewise, observe what you can about your good habits. The same questions would apply. The more you observe, the more you will learn. Study your habits like a scientist would. Record data and draw conclusions about them.
You can also do some research by involving others. Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they notice any patterns in your behavior. Sometimes an outside view will offer insight that is not possible internally.
Everyone has an inner creativity.
Each of us wants to be helpful.
You may feel helpless against your habits. Try to remember that there have been many others who have overcome great obstacles. It is possible to change, you just need to be determined.
All aspire to be great in one way or another. I have not met a kid yet who didn't say, "Look at me!"