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How to Overcome Bad Habits in 4 Easy but Powerful Steps
Human habits are highly useful in terms of making our lives efficient. Doing the same thing everyday means we spend less time in “thinking” about our chores than in actually doing them. The same goes with positive habits, such as getting up early in the morning to get a good head start with work, because once ingrained, a habit is executed almost automatically. Habit formation is our brain’s way of helping us perform faster, easier and with better and better competency. The downside, however, is when somehow we pick up self-defeating or self-damaging habits along the way that work against us and get in the way of our goals. While our habits serve as the building blocks of our distinct personality, we do not need the bad, self-damaging ones. So if you’re trying to find effective ways of how to overcome bad habits, then these four powerful steps are enough.
You can’t change or remove a bad habit if you’re not even aware of them, right? So the very first logical step is identifying what type of bad habit you have. Maybe you love procrastinating—you tend to put off things until your pushing against the deadline. Or maybe you tend to arrive at a meeting place late, or get up so late in the morning. These are actually benign habits, but removing them from your life is essential in achieving self-improvement. And you can only remove them if you are aware of them. Try to identify each of your bad habits, write them down, try to describe them as detailed as you can. It becomes easier if you can find some role model you can look up to—someone who inspired you to be a better person. This can be a family member, a loved one, a celebrity, it doesn’t matter: the only criterion is you must deeply respect this person. Compare your current values with those of your role model, and see how you fare in the comparison, then make plans to emulate your role model. Once you have identified your bad habits, doing this will be easier as you will have a concrete idea what you’re up against.
The matter of how to overcome bad habits can be as easy is quitting. This is only the logical second step: once you have identified your bad habits, then you can proceed toward kicking them out of your life. You might say, “Hey, that’s easier said than done!” and you’ll only be partially right. But it has been said that inside each of us are two beings fighting for control: the bad habits and the good habits, and the set that prevails is those that you feed most often. Feed your bad habits and you’ll only make them stronger. On the other hand, starve them, and they will wilt and die.
And yes, there are some bad habits that are more challenging to remove or kill, and for such habits, the “replacement strategy” can be the best removal method. For example, if you have the habit of eating junk food while watching TV, then replace it with the habit of eating salad greens or any other healthy food replacement.
In many cases, meditation is the icing on the cake of the issue of how to overcome bad habits: the first three methods may be effective enough, but to further ensure the success of your efforts, adding regular meditation in the mix serves as the final nail on the coffin of your bad habits. Meditation reinforces your mental efforts to eliminate bad habits as it allows you to tap your subconscious mind directly—by adding meditation to reinforce your habit replacement strategy, for instance, ensures further its success. After all, meditation boosts your mind’s power and acts as a shield against the development of future bad habits.