April 29, 2012 § 5 Comments
Bad habits, we all have our share of them. Some small, like our addiction to candy bars. Some big, like being chronically late, having negative thoughts all the time, being an ass to everyone while on the inside you don’t want to. And most of us never really beat them.
And then there’s my father.
My father has this weird thing where he can have a total addiction to something. However when he is told it’s bad for his health; he just stops. That’s all, he stops and he never does it again. I’m not sure what is going on in his head, but to me it just seems like he cuts the thought of even using it once again altogether. For example his addiction to licorice (a candy that can cause high blood sugar). He would always have licorice with him in his car and he drove a lot, so he ate a lot of licorice too. He could actually get cranky when there was no new licorice around the house when he ran out of his. Well I think this qualifies as a bad habit, right? So one day he visits the doctor and the doctor gives him a list with things he needs to cut back on because they give him a high blood sugar level. One of them is licorice. At first I didn’t realize the change (he didn’t share the information of his high blood sugar level with me immediately as I was still young then) but after a while I started to notice the absence of licorice, when going somewhere in the car, but around the house as well. There was no longer any licorice anywhere (my dad was the only one eating it daily anyway). So it took me a while to figure it out, and when I asked my dad about it he told me: “I quit eating licorice”. Not I’m trying to quit, not I had to quit, no he just quit. And in his younger years he did the same with smoking and alcohol. Actually both of my parents abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol. The best way to beat bad habits is to never start with them isn’t it? So this sounds easy right? Just stop when you know you should.
Except for us normal people it doesn’t work that way. I am a child of my father but I don’t think I inherited this particular quality of his. And with me a lot of people tend to find it really hard to quit. Whatever it is they want to quit. When you think about it a habit takes 30 days to beat. After that you learned a new habit or you learned to do things differently. 30 days doesn’t sound insurmountable does it? No but as I said to a lot of us it is. So of course I made a list with things that can help us kick bad habits.
1. So step numero uno is becoming aware of your bad habits. Find out what they are.
2. When you already know the habit you want to change give some thought as to why you learned yourself this bad habit. If you’re over twenty and still talk like a baby, maybe it’s time to find out what it is about this habit that makes you think you need it so much.
1. When you want to beat a habit do it while you’re busy. When you know you have a busy month ahead, use it to kick habits. I used to think that if I had a busy time ahead I shouldn’t set any goals besides the excelling in the thing I was busy with. But it’s actually the best time to kick habits because you don’t have hours and hours of time to think about how much you love your little habit, and how much you need it.
2. Stop thinking about stopping instead learn a new good habit (it’s up to you to define good).When you are continuously thinking about having to stop, you’ll only be reminded about how much you miss it. When you eat late at night every night, you’ll be better of learning yourself to go to bed before the urge strikes or to go to the gym, than just sit there thinking you can’t have it. Just stopping with pure will is great, but not many of us have the discipline that is needed for this. So make it easy for yourself and take it easy on yourself. Be nice to yourself and you’ll come a long way!
These were my tips, do you have bad habits you want to beat?