While many of us resolve to start great new habits in the new year, it’s also the time we promise to end the bad old ones. But what happens if every January has you resolving to end the same bad habit? Whether it’s to quit smoking, to end that midnight binge trip to the kitchen, or to finally stop gossiping, make 2015 the year you end that one bad behavior for good! Lisette Cifaldi, Director of Behavioral Health at Hilton Head Health shared 5 tips for breaking free from bad habits!
Set realistic expectations.
The longer you’ve had the bad habit, the more ingrained it is in your life. Thus, your expectations for the effort required to change, and the necessary time it will take to change, need to be realistic. Otherwise said, thoroughly equip yourself for success but also practice patience with the process.
Focus on one day at a time.
Changing a bad habit is best approached from a one-day-at-a-time perspective. Instead of trying to quit a bad habit for a lifetime, just try and refrain from doing it today. You can do anything for just one day. If you succeed with your daily commitment, you can wake up tomorrow and try again.
Ask for advice.
Find other people who have kicked the habit and figure out why they were successful. Gather tips and resources from those that have gone before you and succeeded.
Be honest with yourself.
Deconstruct your habit so that you become thoroughly aware of everyday triggers. Do an inventory of when, where, and how the habit shows up so that you can avoid potential triggers and alter your environment for achieving success.
Change one bad habit at a time.
Most of our bad habits have given us a source of comfort at one time. Giving up more than one source of comfort at the same time can feel too restrictive or punitive. Those feelings often result in self-sabotage. Allowing yourself to feel the success of kicking one bad habit will increase your confidence and motivation for tackling another one.