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Three Steps To Replacing A Bad Habit With A Good Habit
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Three Steps to Replacing A Bad Habit With A Good Habit

Are you trying to break a bad habit? One like smoking, procrastinating or eating potato chips in bed? The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. Adding something new and enjoyable to your life makes it much easier to break that bad habit.

First Step in Replacing a Bad Habit

The first step is being honest about how the bad habit started and why. What benefit were you getting then and is the payoff still there? Maybe when you were fourteen smoking made you feel "cool" and accepted by your peers. Nowadays, smokers are mostly social pariahs, shelling out a fortune for cigarettes and desperately looking for a place where they can still light up.

I've never met a smoker who didn't want to quit but what if your candy bar habit is making you heavier than you like? If you are 25 pounds overweight, giving up the calories in a Snickers bar over a year will make those pounds disappear. You can lose that weight without grueling workouts or expensive processed packaged "diet" meals that leave you hungry and vulnerable to a candy run., all by replacing a bad habit with a good habit.

Why A Bad Habit Is So Hard to Break

No matter how much you want to stop smoking or stay away from Snickers bars, your brain has impeccable programming to make you keep doing what you've always done. How often do you arrive at work with little memory of the drive there? Or even drive to a place you habitually go to instead of somewhere new that you intended to go?

That's your brain's unconscious programming at work. Your brain tells you, "I am a smoker" or "I am overweight but I must have that Snickers bar" so you have to trick it by creating a new brain pattern to replace it.

Second Step is Choosing a Good Habit to Start

Choose a good habit to replace your bad habit. Let's say you can't get to sleep without ice cream and this nightly treat comes with fifteen extra pounds. That's simple math. A half cup of ice cream has 150 calories and that means 15 pounds over a year. The ice cream gives you brief pleasure but your body won't look and feel the way you want it to.

Is there something else fun and relaxing you can do instead of eating Rocky Road? Listening to some music, taking the dog for a last walk, some yoga stretches? Whatever it is, make it as much fun for you as the ice cream - combined of course with looking great in your clothes.

Third Step is Programming Your Good Habit with Affirmations

Affirmations will replace negative beliefs like "I can't stop eating ice cream before bed." Just relax, visualize yourself as 15 pounds lighter and flexible from your yoga stretches. Visualize the ice cream container marked with a big red X. Repeat to yourself, "I love yoga to relax before bed." "Yoga relaxes me and gives me deep sleep and sweet dreams." "I am so slim now that I do yoga before bed."

You'll be surprised how quickly you can rewire your brain with affirmations and your bad habits are gone. You will enjoy the good habit so much more....and have the confidence to build more good habits the way same way!


Street Talk

Me, too. I've replaced the vino with a bottle of Pellegrino. I drink it in a wineglass and I've lost seven pounds!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I like your article about changing bad habits. Replacing bad habits with good ones is much easier than replacing a bad habit with simply more time or more money (smile!). For instance, I am on a diet, and I am replacing a bad habit of eating for self-gratification with controlled eating and healthy eating habits.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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