Author: Adekola Taylor
Without exaggeration, all of us have habits we would want to quit but one way or the other we find it difficult to get rid of them. We all know that kicking out our bad habits would make our lives much better and more productive. Many people find it extremely difficult to quit bad habits despite the unpalatable experiences associated with them. A habit is a form of automated behavioural pattern that is established through customary practice. Habit can be divided into two: good habits and bad habits. A good habit is a generally accepted way of living in the society without compromising good hygiene, etiquette and the norms and values of the society. A good habit may include brushing your teeth twice a day, waking early; ready to help others etc and a bad habit may include indifference to the feeling of others, biting your nails in the public, gambling, playing video games incessantly, sleeping late, drinking and smoking, talking aloud in the public and not rising early from bed.
Overcoming bad habit is a very difficult task and it is associated with the individual emotion but it is not impossible. If you want to quit bad habits you have to be determined and focused. The key to changing unwanted behavioural habits is deeply rooted in ability of the individual to have clearly defined goal and the ability to set realistic time lines for himself or herself. It is generally believed that any bad habit can be quitted within 21 days. Our body and mind are designed to adjust to changes, so it is not impossible to quit any bad habit. Research has shown that it requires 21 days to fully nurture a new habit. This is due to the fact that it takes 21 days for new neuropath ways to be created in the brain. The 21-Day target is not limited to quitting bad habits it can also be used to cultivate good habits. It has been proven to be effective. It is germane to state at this point that quality of our life and the success of our goals are entrenched on certain principled habits. When these principled habits are in place, our productivity and efficiency would drastically increase.
21-day trial program for eliminating bad habits and replacing them with good habits is a self-initiated program. It is characterised by your ability to stick to certain sets of activity for 21 days continuously everyday without any disruption. It helps to cultivate good and desirable habits. The list of bad habits to eliminate is endless, all you need to do is to identify your own and determine to eliminate them within the 21-day trial program.
Below are the things you need to do to quit all your bad habits in just 21 days
- Appropriate Research
Before hand, create time to learn the activity you are taking on. Get acquitted with the common difficult people normally face while trying doing it. Devise your tactics to combat those difficulties so that you would not have to be trapped in such difficulties as you progress. Proper research in this direction would command your success in achieving your goals within the 21 days.
- Be focused
You have to be focused and determined to achieve your goals. The determination to make a change in life is required for changing of bad habits. People who are determined to make a change in life are more likely to effect the change they are dreaming of but those who believe otherwise would or would not encounter a problem. It is generally said that a journey of a thousand mile begins with a step. Taking appropriate steps toward achieving your goals would guarantee you uncommon success. You may decide to join a self-help group. As it has been indicated change is difficult because it requires commitment and determination. As you want to start, define your specific behavioural goals and begin to tailor your attitudes and activities accordingly. Let your focus be 100%.
We are familiar to our bad habits to the point that they have become part and parcel of us. And find it difficult to realize that we have them. These bad habits are usually noticed by people unless they point them out we may find it difficult to notice them. It is important to first and foremost accept that you have bad habits and you must identify them. They should be labelled bad. You should not rationalise the habits because this would prevent you from getting rid of them. Rationalization would make us to find reasons why we should continue with the habits. Accepting your conditions is the first step towards effecting a change. For an example, a smoker may say "I enjoy smoking because it helps me to socialize with friends" though he is aware of the fact that his smoking habit is gradually harming him. Rationalization gives him reasons why he should continue smoking. You have to stop being defensive and determine to move ahead. Identify why you developed such bad habits because it would help you know why you are always moved to exhibit the bad habits. This may reveal some shocking realities of the past but you must not be discouraged. Be determined to face the realities whether they are uncomfortable or depressing. Your acceptance and your understanding of your bad habits is the first step in quitting them.
- Get Help, Don't do it alone
You have to tell the world that you have bad habits once you have acknowledged them. Be honest with yourself; let your relatives and close friends be aware of your plans to quit all your bad habits. This decision would help you a lot. Fear of what people would say about our bad habits has prevented many people from breaking the shackles of bad habits that have chained them down. What people would say if eventually you didn't succeed in quitting the habits is another thing considered as embarrassment. On the other hands, this fear of embarrassment should be taken as a positive motivation in achieving our goals of quitting the bad habits within the speculated time-line. More importantly, you may get some valuable advice by telling people about our decision and our plans. Choose people with similar goals or people who have overcome related bad habits as your own and shared your plans with them, they might turn out to be a noble source of motivation to you. As earlier stated, seek for support from colleagues, friends, family and/or professional support groups.
- Meditate on the consequences
The consequences of bad habits are sinister. Bad habits spoil things around us. Some bad habits are injurious to our effective living in most time they may be dangerous to our health and our relationship with others. For example incessant playing of video games or uncontrollable watching of movies waits most of our productive time. What about smoking and excessive drinking of alcohols which are harmful to our health. Make up your mind to quit all these bad habits and make sure you replace them with good habit. Furthermore, think of the good consequences of changing to good habits. You may even use a trigger that would help you quit all your bad habits in 21 days. For example, if you wake up late, you can set an alarm clock and prepare your mind to wake up from your bed the very moment the alarm clock rings.
- Give it a trial for two to three days before starting the program
Quitting the bad habits for two to three days before starting the program would prepare your mind toward the challenges you would face during the 21 days speculated time for the program. Mental preparation would help you in setting your emotion in the best mood for your success. The two to three days trial would serve as a way of developing the right kind of propelling force. Do exactly opposite of what you have been doing for this period of days; you would develop the determination and the momentum to continue the good habits. Try this before embarking on the 21 days program of quitting all your bad habits.
- Set a target 21 days cycle
As you are preparing to start the 21 days program establish a realistic and clear goal. You should chart your progress in a calendar and monitor your progress. You must determine to eliminate all your bad habits within these 21 days. For example, if you are taking 7 cups of coffee in a day, decide to cut it down once in a day. You must understand the big challenge is to meet the targeted behaviours within the 21 days. Compensate for the eliminated bad habits by adding competing pleasant behaviours. This would stabilize you, as a matter of fact subtracting would have negative consequences on the program. Adding pleasant and desirable habits would go a long way in achieving untold success. The bad habits may be replaced with the desirable ones such as meditation, sporting activities, spending time with family, eating healthier foods etc. As earlier said, you should track your progress everyday during the 21 days to mark your success. This would serve as immediate gratification for diligent work and it would prepare and propel you for the next day. While observing the 2-day program to quit all your bad habits, I want you to know that it is a serious business, so make sure you are not disturbed by heavy duties. Focus on each goal and make sure you achieve the goal before going to another goal. Take your action plans systematically gradual progress is better than no progress.
There are rules to follow during the 21-day program. You have to make sure you perform the exercises everyday without failing. If by chance one of the days is left out, you have to redo it all over by commencing from the first day. Breaking the cycle would jeopardize the success of the program. Based on the aforementioned statement, it takes 21 days for the brain to develop new neuropath way for new habits. Breaking of the cycle would mess up the whole program. Success is guaranteed by your ability to stick to the activities for 21 consecutive days. By sticking to this would succeed in quitting all your bad habits and replacing them with good habits would cost you nothing.
- Appreciate yourself by rewarding yourself
You need to reward yourself for every successful step you take in the 21-day program. This would serve as an incentive and it would raise your morale and keep you motivated to quit the other bad habits in your program. Bad habits are not easy to quit, many people wallow in bad habits for donkey of years with futile efforts to get rid of them. It is worth noting, you deserve a reward for every success in the program because your happiness is associated to achieving your speculated goals. Getting free from the shackles of bad habits would make you to be proud of yourself. Your friends, relatives and colleagues make encourage by rewarding for your success.
In conclusion, the 21-day program for quitting all your bad habits is highly manageable and easy to observe. Many a person procrastinates on getting rid of their bad habits despite the fact that they are aware of them. Procrastination may be as a result of the belief that they may end up doing this for the rest of their lives. As a matter of fact, such a belief is a fallacy. With the 21-day trial program the challenges become much easier, more feasible and manageable to undertake. You have to take the bull by the horn by making up your mind today to quit all the bad habits you would want to eliminate forever. It is just 3 weeks endeavour, don't allow excuses to prevent you from undertaking this laudable program. It is not impossible; when you embark on it you would find it interesting and productive.
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