How to Kick Your Bad Habits

If you haven’t read it, you’ve probably watched it, so take a minute to hear what Aibileen says and remember that “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” Now, ask yourself why you occasionally do things that are not smart, not kind and not important. It is a waste of time to behave badly, especially when you are such a great person. The little mistakes you make on a regular basis really add up to a pretty big deal; dropping the bad habits you have can change your life completely. When you replace a bad habit with a good one, positive changes occur and what you get are positive results.

Before you start thinking that you have the willpower to kick your bad habits, admit to yourself that you do not and take this advice; bad habits are the result of a long-term routine. Say you are a smoker. You know it’s a nasty habit that has gross long-term consequences, but you still do it. The reason is because you are on a loop. At a certain point each day you feel a craving to light up. Then you feel a reward for lighting up. Your mind remembers that rewarding feeling you had and causes you to feel this at the same point each day. Willpower will not help you to quit because it requires you make a decision, and decision making is often too much for some. What you need to do is replace your bad habit with a better habit.

Switch your focus from the reward you feel when you light up a cigarette with the reward you feel when you don’t. You know how bad smoking is for you, and you know that you want to quit, so focus on how good you feel each time you crave one and don’t indulge your craving. It won’t be easy at first, but eventually your mind will replace the rewarding feeling of lighting up with the rewarding feeling of not smoking.

Use this practice to replace any bad habit; from biting your fingernails to rolling your eyes each time you talk to your mother on the phone. Willpower will get you started, but it isn’t enough to break you of a bad habit. You need to replace it. Make your new motto, “Out with the old and in with the new.”


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