How to Control Your Habits; Saying no to Bad Habits Part 1

How to Control Your Habits; Saying no to Bad Habits Part 1

Controlling your habits doesn’t take effects once, it’s a gradual process which takes time depending on the efforts you put in.  Let’s go through some process of how to control your habits together.  When Austins alarm clock goes off, he is sleepy. But he immediately gets out of bed, puts on the exercise clothes he laid out the night before, and goes for a brief jog – Just as he has three times a week for the past year.

Laurie just had a fight with her husband. Angry and frustrated, she storms into the kitchen, pulls out a bag of chocolate candies, and eats them all – just as she seems to do every time she is upset

What do Austin and Laurie have in common? Whether they realize it or not, both have been affected by a powerful force – the force of habit.

What about you? Are there good habits that you would like to build in your life? Perhaps your goal is to exercise regularly, to get more sleep, or to keep in closer touch with loved ones.

On the other hand, maybe you would like to break a bad habit, such as smoking cigarettes, eating too much junk food, or spending excessive time on the internet.

Admittedly, it can be difficult to overcome a bad habit. In fact, it has been said that a bad habit is like a warm bed on a cold day: it is easy to get into and hard to get out of. So how can you harness your habits and make them work for you instead of against you? Consider the following three suggestions:

Be Realistic

It can be tempting to try to change everything in your life immediately. You tell yourself, “This week I am going to stop smoking, stop swearing, stop staying up too late at night, start exercising, start eating better, and start calling my parents. But trying to reach all your goals at the same time is a sure way to reach none of them.

“Wisdom is with the modest one.” Proverbs 11;2

A modest person is realistic. He recognizes that there are limits to his time, energy, and resources. So rather than trying to change everything at once, he makes improvement gradually.

‘trying to reach all your goals at the same time is a sure way to reach none of them.”

What you can do

Work on your habits in realistic increments. The following steps may help:

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1 create two master lists – a list of good habits that you would like to build and  list of any bad habits that you need to get rid of. Do not limit yourself; on each list, write down as many as you can think of.

2 prioritize the items on your lists, numbering them in the order of importance to you.

3 choose a few habits – even just one or two – from each list, and focus on those. Then move on to the next one or two habits on each of your lists.

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Speed up the process by replacing a bad habit with a good one. For example, if your list of bad habits includes watching too much TV and your list of good habits includes keeping in touch with loved ones, you could resolve: ‘instead of immediately turning on the TV when I get home from each day, I will contact a friend or a relative and catch up.’

To be continued in part 2

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