Friday, March 9, 2012

Bad habits

Our lives are entirely habitual. Everyday we do the same things that we did our entire life. Some of these habits are bad and might have an unwanted influence in the quality of your life. On the other hand you can develop good habits that benefit you (like doing exercises once you wake up or drinking plenty of water when you sit near a computer). Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form.

I myself have plenty of bad habits that I'd like to get rid of (nail biting, throat clearing,swearing,procrastinating, etc.). But I can tell that I've also formed some good ones during my adolescence.

So are there any techniques that help you break bad habits and form good ones? Well let me list a few that I found helpful:

1. Get rid of one habit at a time. Trying to rid of all at the same time is unproductive and reckless. Multitasking will show no good outcome in this area.
2. Replace them. Every time you feel doing something irritating out of habit, do something else to keep you occupied. Start using light profanity instead of those horrible curse words. The best thing is to replace your bad habits with good ones.
3. Make a public commitment. Tell your friends or your relatives that you will start/stop doing that, not wanting to look like a failure will keep you motivated to stick to it. Commit something precious to you, for example make a deal and give your friend fifty bucks and if you don't follow your terms he will get to keep it. Also if you find a buddy who wants to do the same thing, make a bet that whoever snaps the first must pay the other one some money, competing like that will give great boost of motivation.

I remember once before class I've made a deal with a friend that whoever swears gives the other one half a dollar. He snapped in like two minutes, but then later on we've remained quiet for quite some time. It was hard to concentrate trying not to slip a curse out. There's a popular method to set up a jar in the home, where one must put some money if he's caught swearing. You should try it out!

I can't think of anything else right now but I would like to hear some of your thoughts.
How do you guys deal with habits? Leave some tips in the comments.

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