Some bad habits can actually make you stronger. If you’ve been a person who finds it difficult to express anger, developing a habit of expressing it in a good way can help clear your mind and make better decisions. It’s been found that expressing anger prompts the brain to release less of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is linked to such problems as heart disease and obesity.
Other “bad” habits such as drinking coffee and wine are now said to be good for you if you indulge in moderation. Going overboard on any food or behavior can become a habit you need to quit, but in moderation, they’re okay.
A good example of how a good habit can turn bad is surfing the Internet. If you indulge in surfing the ‘Net to learn or build a business it can be a good thing. But, if you find yourself going deeply into debt from over-shopping or visiting sites that might cause a rift in relationships, that surfing can be bad for you.
Even the habit of being a slob can be good for you if you don’t let it get out of control. A person who constantly disinfects the home can actually be setting up an unhealthy environment.
When you clean out the little germs, you can sometimes be clearing a path for germs that are much more dangerous. And, some disinfectants and air fresheners aren’t good for asthma or respiratory sufferers.
The process of breaking a bad habit can also be good for you. When you use your mind and willpower to overcome obstacles that are keeping your from achieving success, you’re making yourself stronger and more apt to be able to withstand the next round of crises that comes along.
You’ll also be building your ability to commit to something when you commit and follow through with breaking bad habits. And, when you force yourself to think about the bad habit and ways to overcome it, you can change your environment and your lifestyle.
Through repetitive bad habits, you can more easily identify the good habits that you want to become repetitive. Your behavior will likely be affected by what you discover about yourself and you can more easily create the life you want.
Bad habits, when recognized, can teach you a lot about your environment and how it affects you. For example, you may eat healthy when you’re at home, but have the habit of ordering too much food at a restaurant. By recognizing and plotting about how to overcome that bad habit, you can learn much about yourself and what makes you tick.
Commit to Good Habits – Lose Bad Habits
Very seldom do any of us need to commit to a bad habit to keep it going. Those bad habits just seem to follow us no matter how much we want to stop. Good habits, however, take time and commitment to form and stick to.
One thing you can do to help commit to a good habit is to visualize it. Feature the happiness you’ll feel, how you will look and your emotions each time you practice the good habit that you want to form.
A good way to reinforce your commitment to the good habit is to write down the benefits of it. For example, if you commit to building your business, write down the financial burdens that would be lifted if you realize success. Would it be a child’s education – or a trip you’ve been fantasizing about?
Also write down the sacrifices you’re going to have to make if you commit to the good habits. For example, if you’re committed to losing weight, you might not get to indulge in a big restaurant meal with your friends. Giving up alcohol may also cause some social repercussions with your friends.
Don’t quit if you experience a failure. When you’re truly committed, you don’t just give up at the first sign of trouble. Wars would never have been won and highly successful people would have never reached great heights if they quit after one or many failures.
Ridding yourself of a bad habit has to engage your mind totally and completely. You’ve got to realize why the bad habit keeps plaguing you. Is it an addictive habit such as smoking or alcohol? If so, you may need some professional intervention.
You also need to focus on your performance rather than the consistency of your efforts. For example, if you’re committed to cardio exercises three days a week but only feel like doing some Yoga stretches, you’ve at least kept up the exercise routine – making the bad habit of not exercising easier to break.
Unfortunately, nothing happens automatically like programming a computer to work a certain way. To get anywhere with forming good habits or losing bad ones, you’ll have to commit to going through the struggle to get there. You can commit to a good habit for 30 days and have a pretty good head start on making it a permanent habit.
And, if you’re giving up something you really enjoy by changing a bad habit, be sure to replace it with something that won’t interfere with the good habit forming, but that you’ll enjoy. Rewarding yourself is a good way to embed the habit and overwrite the bad ones.
Be sure that your habits are being formed or lost because you want it – and not what someone else thinks you should do. You can hardly look to others for convincing when you can’t even convince yourself.
Creating Habits That Will Help You Succeed
The most successful people in the world didn’t get there without developing some successful habits that are both motivating and inspiring. When your days are filled with habits that are deliberately created to take you to the pinnacle of success, you will get there.
Success may not involve a dollar amount to you – instead, it may be success in becoming healthy, raising responsible and caring children or creating a business you can be proud of and that helps others.
Whatever meets your definition of success, you can get there more quickly and enjoy the journey if you create some habits that are designed to help you succeed. The following techniques will help:
Sacrifice for what you want – What do you enjoy that you can sacrifice for bigger and better things? True success in anything is rarely accomplished without sacrifice and creating habits of giving up for the greater good will pave the road to almost any type of success.
Define success for you – Does success to you mean that you can travel more, pay for a good education for your children or save for a comfortable retirement? Don’t try and put a dollar amount on success – think of it in terms of what would make you happiest. Success and happiness should be the same in your thoughts.
Become healthy – If you aren’t already enjoying good health, begin to eat healthy foods, exercise and take preventive measures to enjoy good health throughout your years. A healthy body maintains a healthy mind, and you need both to realize and enjoy eventual success.
Establish a routine – When you wake up at the same time every day, your sleep patterns will keep your mind active and you can get more done. Most extremely successful people wake up earlier than everyone else and get a head start. Don’t make the routine boring – but, make it count.
Work harder than everyone else – Never let the competition get a jump on you. Study harder, work harder, try harder and plan harder and success will find you. Then, you’ll enjoy it more because you worked hard for it.
Also, be thankful for everything you have at this moment. When you’re thankful for what you have, you tend to be happier. A positive attitude follows thankfulness and becomes a habit that’s an effective one to create the success you desire.
Good Habits Are the Mind’s Magic Potion
Each day your mind leads you in a certain direction – sometimes by choice and other times in ways you don’t expect. You forge through our daily activities mostly by the habits you’ve formed – such as brushing your teeth or having a cup of coffee. When you learn how to control the mind, it can be a magic potion in determining your success in anything you want.
Good and bad habits run our lives and you can create more good habits than bad if you find ways to engage the mind. It’s not as easy as it might seem. The subconscious mind that you don’t control has much to do with approving or sabotaging your good habit resolutions.
That’s why so many people fail at a diet that they began in February. The subconscious mind wasn’t really in tune and didn’t really like the idea of being deprived of all the comfort and solace that eating high calorie foods provided.
Since the subconscious mind can’t be controlled, the only hope you have of replacing a bad habit with a good one is to over-ride it. There are several ways to accomplish this task and each involves a true commitment to seeing it through. Here are some ways that good habits can become the mind’s magic potion and lead you to ultimate success:
Self-discipline – Unless you develop a strong commitment to self-discipline, your efforts to create good habits could fall by the wayside. Commitment means planning ahead of how to thwart the subconscious mind when you begin to weaken and have trouble seeing the finish line.
Engage in the hardest tasks during your most productive time – If you’re more productive in the mornings, engage in activities that are the most difficult, such as exercising. It can quickly become a lasting habit if it’s repeated many times and can be a magic potion to taking you to fitness success.
Quickly replace negative thoughts with positive ones – Negative thoughts seem to come from nowhere – and it is really your subconscious mind putting buried emotions into your conscious mind. Don’t let them linger and sabotage your progress. Positive thoughts are a magic potion to help you build positive habits.
Identify what you want – When your desires are firmly embedded in your mind, it’s difficult to be led astray. Try to etch a vivid picture of what success will look like when you achieve it and keep that image in front of you when tempted to go back to the old ways.
Meaningful and lasting changes can only succeed if you engage the mind and turn it into a magic potion for achieving what you want out of life. The good habits you form with your mind can lead the way to success and help you overcome obstacles that are sure to get in your way.
How Habits Can Affect Your Health
As part of the human race, you’re a creature of habit – some good and some bad. The bad habits such as smoking and eating sugar are learned. Some habits are products of our environment, but whatever habits you have can sometimes be annoying and some can even be detrimental to your health.
Bad habits such as dietary and smoking are obviously harmful, but there are others that can lead to chronic conditions such as stress, heart disease, depression and anxiety. Drinking too much alcohol can affect your liver and perhaps alter your lifestyle by causing you to lose your job or relationships.
Here are some other habits that may not be as obvious, but can also affect your health in a negative way:
Sleep deprivation – If you’re in the habit of skimping on sleep so that you can work or stay up all night partying, you’re doing your health a grave disservice. Sleep deprivation can even contribute to obesity because you’re more likely to crave higher calorie foods.
Watching television or surfing the ‘Net – Doing anything in excess is usually bad for your health. If you’re watching too much television or constantly surfing the ‘net, you’re likely not getting enough exercise or using your brain for more productive pursuits.
Procrastinating – Procrastination about things like getting rid of bad habits can greatly affect your overall health. Plus, if you have things you keep putting off, such as doctors’ appointments, you could be negatively affected, both mentally and physically.
Anger – Within reason, some anger is good for you because it helps you open up and rid yourself of suppressed feelings. But, if you develop a bad habit of being angry and abusive toward someone or your job or whatever bothers you, it can cause bad health issues.
Relationships – If a relationship has become a bad habit, it might be better for you to end it and begin again – or take steps to work on a relationship that may be salvageable with some counseling or heart-to-heart talks.
Take a good look at the habits you’ve formed – both good and bad – and analyze how they may be affecting your health. Take steps to turn the bad habits into good ones and to find out why you developed the bad habits in the first place.
You may need professional help with some of the bad habits that are affecting your health. For example, if you’ve been smoking for many years, see a health care professional to discuss the best way for you to quit without so many repercussions.
How to Create Lasting Good Habits
Those who live with an abundance of good habits are usually known as heroes. The power achieved from having good habits that affect your body and lifestyle are the ones that make you a winner – smarter, stronger and more able to face life’s challenges.
If you’re a victim of bad habits and want to break out of the cage you find yourself in, creating good habits that will serve you wisely is the best way to do it. Here are some tricks that successful people use to create good habits that will last forever and lead you to the success you desire:
Never quit – Don’t give up on yourself. If you want to be a success in business, develop a plan and stick to it, only changing it when you find that a part of it doesn’t work for you. Eventually, your good habits will make it happen.
Be specific about a plan – Whether it’s a plan to exercise more or create an online business, have a plan that’s specific – including the dates when you’ll begin and the route you’ll take to get to the finish line. Also include obstacles you might encounter and how you’re going to deal with them.
Use affirmations – Positive affirmations (positive sentences you recite about yourself and your journey) can help embed good habits in your brain. Use them first thing in the morning and the last thing before you go to bed to keep yourself upbeat and encouraged.
Create steps that will reinforce the good habits – For example, if you want to succeed in weight loss, you could take steps to prepare healthy meals and snacks ahead of time. It also helps to clear your pantry and refrigerator from unhealthy foods. If you’re consistently late, set the alarm for an earlier time.
Feed your unconscious mind – The conscious part of your mind is what you’re usually focused on. Things like what you say and react to are a product of your conscious mind, while the unconscious takes over your emotions and the automatic reactions such as driving on the highway or brushing your teeth before bed.
To create lasting good habits, you must cater to both the conscious and unconscious parts of your mind. Your unconscious mind must be convinced of your plans for creating good and lasting habits before you conscious mind can perform the actions to make them succeed.
Therefore, you must do a great deal of planning ahead and thinking about every aspect of the path you’ll take to make those lasting good habits come to fruition.
5 Tips to Kick Bad Habits To the Curb
Chronic bad habits can hold you back professionally, affect your health and shorten your life. Your bad habit may not seem that bad, but they can affect your relationships with others and make you seem annoying.
The worst habits are those that affect your health, such as smoking and overeating. There are some easy things you can do to kick your bad habits to the curb, but there’s no really quick fix. You’ve got to commit to breaking the habits and continuing to form new and better habits to replace the bad ones.
Here are five tips that can help you leave those bad habits behind:
Determine what you’re getting from the habit – You’ve got to understand the bad habit before you can conquer it. For example, it may be obvious if you have a problem with overeating that you feel comfort when you indulge. How can you get comfort elsewhere? Good habits need to be formed to break the old ones – such as a hobby to replace a spending habit.
How are you sabotaging yourself? – So many bad habits can’t be broken because you sabotage yourself at every turn. If you want to be successful in business, you form friendships and contacts with those who have the same goals rather than isolating yourself. Figure out how you’re sabotaging yourself and make changes at that level.
Change your routine – Nothing sabotages the good intentions to change a habit like boredom. While you’re working to kick the bad habits to the curb, you can’t do business as usual. You’ve got to find ways to ‘entertain’ and comfort yourself that are new and interesting.
Small changes can break big habits – Chipping away at the bad habit can make a difference, given enough time. Ask yourself how you can make small changes that will have a big impact on a bad habit you want to break.
Set reasonable and do-able goals – Bad habits can’t be replaced in a moment’s time. For example, if you need to get more exercise to improve your health, commit to small goals at first, such as getting up off the couch for 10 minutes per day and walking or stretching. When that becomes a habit, take it to the next level – maybe a twenty minute workout.
Many habits are so ingrained in your lifestyle that it’s going to take awhile before they’re completely gone from your life. Slow and easy is the operative phrase that will kick the old, bad habits to the curb and give you a new and more fulfilling lifestyle.
Unlocking the Scientific Secrets of Habit-Forming
There are myths and truths about forming both good and bad habits. You may think it might be easier to form a bad habit than a good one, but in most cases that isn’t true. Bad and good habits are usually equally difficult to change.
For example, if you’re a smoker, you probably had to inhale a lot of cigarettes before you got the hang of it and could do it without coughing. But, you persisted and finally developed a bad and addictive habit.
To break the smoking habit and create healthy ones, you’re not only going to have to deal with the habit of smoking at certain times (such as in the morning or after a meal) and the addictiveness of the nicotine.
Habits don’t just happen. They’re formed because there’s a need, either consciously or subconsciously to achieve something, from fear or desire. Bad habits can affect relationships, your career and your health, so you need to know the difference between the scientific facts of habit forming and the myths associated with it.
How to Make and Break Habits
The self-help book, “Psycho-Cybernetics,” by Maxwell Maltz proposed that a true habit can become a valid part of your life in 21 days. The theory is based on experience and not clinical facts, but the theory has back up many times in other forums. It may not work for everyone, but it is a viable point to strive for.
A scientific fact about making or breaking habits is that if you want to change a habit, the new behavior must become automatic. To form habits that are automatic, they must be repeated many times – much like teaching a dog to “fetch.” As the dog becomes familiar with the process of throwing a stick or ball and catching it, he’ll automatically get ‘ready’ as soon as he sees you pick up the ball.
The habits we form are carved into the neural pathways of the brain and only through repetition will the carving become deeper and more embedded. It’s interesting that the carvings that make up the bad habits that you’re trying to break never completely disappear – although they do become fainter with the passing of time.
You may have quit smoking for years, but you can slip right back into that bad habit if provoked. The reasons most ‘diets’ don’t work is that the habits of eating high calorie foods is ingrained in your brain and your habits of eating. A diet must become a repetitive lifestyle rather than a two week weight loss miracle.
Scientifically, habit breaking or habit forming can only be accomplished by repetitive actions – and much desire to make or break the habit.
Use Your Willpower to Create New Habits
If you want to develop new habits that will make you happier and bring greater success into your life, you’ve got to have the willpower of a winner. Willpower is one of the best motivational tools to have because with it you can be strong.
The problem with willpower is that your weaknesses can sometimes overcome it and make you do things to sabotage the formations of new and lasting habits for success. Dieting is the most common example of willpower letting you down. You can rationalize in your mind that just ONE piece of cake won’t make you gain weight – or that you’re on vacation – you deserve that piece of Key Lime Pie.
To make lasting and successful habits, you need to develop the willpower to be able to withstand those temptations and help you quit rationalizing that something is okay when it clearly isn’t. Hard work and planning are the two major elements that will build strong willpower.
Willpower isn’t built by simply saying you’ll never do something again or that you’re going to succeed at something. When you see a person with an awesome amount of willpower who has become successful, know that there was the hard work and intimidating obstacles that he had to overcome before he became who he is now.
Building your willpower that will take you to success means that you first have to identify the reward you’ll get by having an abundance of willpower. Will you be fit and trim because you had the willpower to eat healthy and exercise? Or do you want your willpower to help you work hard and realize success in your business.
After you’ve identified the end goal you’ll accomplish by using willpower, you’ve got to make a plan. A plan is the map that will take you where you want to go and consists of several minor goals in between the starting point and the finish line.
What are the obstacles you’ll likely encounter when attempting to use your willpower? Those obstacles also need to be identified and you need to plan how you’re going to use your willpower to overcome them.
For example, if you’re planning to build an online business while keeping your day job, you’ll have to resist the urge to plop down on the sofa after work and watch television. Your home office must take priority for awhile over any indulgences you might long for until your business has reached the success you planned.
That’s using your willpower to get what you want and to create new habits that will take you to the success you desire. It may seem like it’s taking forever and taxing every ounce of willpower you have, but eventually you will have created a new ‘habit’ of success and everyone will envy you for your awesome willpower.
What’s Keeping You from Forming Good Habits?
It’s been psychologically proven that it takes 21 to 30 days to form a habit – good or bad. The problem is that once the habit is formed, it still isn’t etched in your brain deep enough for you to realize the benefits (or the detrimental effects). The good or bad habit must be continually repeated until it’s automatic.
The 21 or 30 day theory would be great if it really worked. There would be no more obesity – after all, everyone could eat healthy for 21 days. Cigarettes would become extinct and no one would have an anger problem.
Unfortunately, the 21 or 30 days is only a beginning to changing or forming a habit. A commitment must be made strongly in your mind that will keep you repeating the newly hatched habit until it’s a natural reaction.
There’s more to forming good habits than depending on will power or the power of embedding it in your brain for a certain amount of time. If you’re trying to form some good habits in your life that will make you feel better, get more accomplished or become more successful, here are a few tips to consider:
Change one habit at a time – Trying to quit smoking and eating junk food at the same time is setting yourself up for failure. Any addictive habit you have is going to need all of your focus, so begin with one habit until it’s etched deeply in your brain and then begin another.
Take baby steps – Baby steps, rather than giant leaps can get you where you want to be faster and have more of an impact than trying to do it all at once. For example, make a commitment to write two pages of a book each day rather than attempting to finish a chapter all at once.
Seek help if needed – If you find that forming a good habit or ridding yourself of an old one is more than you can handle, seek help from a professional or a group of people who have the same problem. For example, a health care professional might be able to give you a prescription for use while going through the early days of quitting smoking.
Don’t become discouraged – Everyone is different, and it may take longer for you to form a good habit than others who seem to breeze through it. Reward yourself for sticking to the good habit and pick yourself up and continue when you have an occasional slip.
Try and gain some insight into why you have to deal with the same old bad habits over and over again. A bad habit may involve your relationships with others, a need to be comforted or a myriad of other reasons.
When you understand why the bad habit haunts you, you can more easily take steps to rectify it and create good habits.