Common Bad Habits and How to Break Them
Have you had enough and are finally ready to tackle your bad habit? Do you bite your nails or visit the drive-thru every day? Or, maybe there’s something that needs to be done, but you just don’t want to do it. Don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Actually, you’re normal.
Here are a few of the top bad habits people want to kick and tips for how to do it.
- Procrastination: Make that list. You know the one – the never-ending one. If it seems too daunting, break the big tasks into smaller ones. And guess what. When you mark something off your list, it feels good and motivates you to keep ongoing. If you really want to feel good, use a Sharpie. Nothing says, “Done!” like a thick black line. If you want to relieve stress, stop putting things off until the last minute. Keep in mind, when a deadline is approaching, and you’re behind schedule, procrastination often leads to panic.
- Eating Unhealthy Food: If you can’t see it, you can’t eat it, which boils down to, don’t bring it in the house. One tip to keep the unhealthy food out of your pantry and fridge, make sure to eat before grocery shopping. It’ll cut down on impulse purchases. If fast food is a lunch or dinner time staple, plan your meals. Or find an alternate route home that doesn’t take you past your favorite go-to fast-food restaurants.
- Swearing: Try to imagine someone you wouldn’t want to hear you curse (kids, grandparents, etc.) is within earshot. Find an alternate form of expression – use words that sound like what you normally say, “Oh, sugar.” Ask a friend to monitor your language. Use a swear jar. Say the word, but inside your head.
- Too Much Social Media: Does the ding of your phone ramp up your adrenaline? Turn off notifications. Do you hang out in the bathroom longer than necessary? Don’t bring your phone or tablet. If you often ask yourself, “Where did the time go?” Allow yourself some time with social media but set a timer and unplug when the alarm sounds. Go big – remove apps from your electronics. You might enjoy the hiatus.
- Biting Your Nails: When you’re anxious or bored, you may find yourself munching on your nails. Trim them. It’s hard to bite your nails if they’re not there. Also, biting your nails can be a form of self-soothing. Replace the bad habit with a positive form of self-soothing. Try keeping your hands busy. How about twirling a ring on your finger? Or attaching a plastic paperclip to the bottom hem of your shirt or belt loop? Another option is to keep your mouth busy – chew gum.
- Overspending: When the credit card bill arrives in the mail, do you cringe when opening it? Overspending is a common bad habit. “But how can I stop?” you ask. First, make a budget and track your spending. In the process, you may be surprised to learn where your money goes. Eating out? Spontaneous purchases? Remember, multiple small purchases during a day can add up to an expensive outing. Make lists and stick to them. Use the envelope method – have envelopes for different categories and put the budgeted cash in each – when the cash is gone, it is gone.
Don’t worry if it takes a while for your bad habit to become a good habit. Start with small steps and work towards consistency. Soon you’ll have that bad habit broken!