Many of my clients and friends want to break bad habits all year. With the New Year coming up, they are excited for a fresh start. They claim to be committed to it “this time.” And while they may indeed be ready to shed the negative patterns that weighed them down, they will fail. I know that sounds harsh, but here’s the truth: The simple will to end a bad habit is simply not enough. Most of us have had these habits all our lives and without a plan and support, we are doomed to fail. But don’t go thinking you will [insert your bad habit here] forever! I’ve got you covered with
5 Steps to Break Bad Habits for Good:
1. Notice it.
Whether its over-eating or drama-filled relationships, the challenge to changing these behaviors is that they come from an unconscious place. So, the best way to clue into things below the surface is to recognize them by paying attention to the emotions they bring up. When you feel the same pain you’ve felt countless times before, it’s time to flag it and ask why.
2. Know its cause.
We fall into patterns because we fail to face reality. When you deny the truth, you repeat the same behaviors and expect a different outcome. And, quite frankly, that’s crazy. Pretend you have a 3-year-old with you who constantly asks, “Why?”
3. Slow it down.
Patterns occur because we move too fast to see things as they really are (like when you’re seeing someone and by the third date you’re planning your wedding). The key is to stay mindful to the present moment. This prevents us from future tripping, allowing us to see what’s truly in front of us.
4. Forgive yourself.
Forgiveness feels like shaking an etch-a-sketch. It gets messy first, but then it’s clean and ready for a fresh new design. Until you truly forgive yourself for what you perceive you should or shouldn’t have done, you will continue to repeat your negative patterns. But, when you clear out the resentment and shame, you are able to focus on the present and your new healthier practices.
5. Check yourself.
When you recognize that you’re returning to your old habits, ask yourself, “Do I want to repeat or recover?” It’s a choice. Each choice aligned with your higher self and desired outcome leads to new behaviors.
Really want to make your resolution stick this year? If you’re truly ready to break your bad habit then set yourself up for success. Get a coach or accountability buddy to support you along the way. Change is never easy and you don’t have to do it alone. It comes down to you. Are you ready to take the steps and make a change or do you want to make the same resolution again next year?
What’s your experience breaking bad habits? What has helped you? Share it with me in the Comments Section below!