Everyone has a bad habit or some sort of behavior that they do not like. It can be challenging to “break” bad habits, especially if they are addictive habits!
Chances are, if you are reading this then you have a bad habit you would like to break. Maybe it is an embarrassing one, so to make you feel better, I’ll tell you a few of my bad habits.
But before I do that, I want to recognize an important milestone for my blog! THIS post right here that you are reading is my 100th post! It is mind blowing to me that I have written 100 blog posts. You know what this means, right? I broke my bad habit of never being able to commit to a blog name. 😉
For real, though, here are some of the bad habits I have endured in my entire life: biting my nails, not flossing, picking my nose (when I was a kid), picking at my acne, and negative self talk.
Right now, the habit I am trying to work on is picking at my arms. It is an anxious habit that I have. It is easy to tell when I’m having a tough time with life because people just have to look at my arms and see how clear they are. Another habit I struggle with is drinking enough water.
Here are my tips to break these bad habits! Let’s do it together!
Be More Mindful
I think the biggest challenge when it comes to breaking a habit is also one of my most important tips: mindfulness. Personally, I tend to engage in my “behaviors” when I am not being mindful of my actions.
It is important to act with good intentions and to really think about the things you are doing. For example, I know that I pick my arms the most when I am feeling anxious. Also I pick a lot when I am in the bathroom, in front of a mirror. To combat this, I try to do something else with my hands when I am anxious: write, read, play a game on my phone, text a friend, pet my dog or cat, or work on my blog. Another thing I do is avoid spending unnecessary time in the bathroom. I change my clothes in the bedroom and I make sure to stick to a routine in the bathroom: brush my teeth, floss, put on deodorant, wash my face, and do my hair.
Being more mindful of your actions is the first step because then you can figure out how you can control your actions and limit that urge!
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of rewarding myself, but it helps some people stay motivated! I guess my reward would be wearing shirts that show off my arms without feeling like everyone is looking at them. For other people, their reward is a new outfit, a night out, a spa day, or whatever else suits your fancy. I recommend starting off with smaller rewards for smaller goals and then a big reward once you feel like you have broken yourself of the habit.
Have you seen my post about SMART goals? You can set goals to break a bad habit using SMART goals, too. Set smaller goals to make your way to the ultimate goal of getting rid of your habit. For example, smaller goals for me to stop picking at my arms would be to go one day without picking, then a couple of days, then a week, and so on.
Use a Habit Tracker
My last tip is to use a habit tracker, whether it is on your phone or in your journal. You can track the days that you DON’T do your habit. I personally use the Streaks app for both building habits and breaking habits! Read more about the Streaks app here.
It can be so challenging to break a bad habit, especially one that you’ve been doing for a long time or one that is addictive. When I was biting my nails, I had been doing it for most of my life. I had no choice but to stop when I went to basic training because I was so busy, so dirty, and too tired to even think about it. After I got out of basic training, I never even thought about it again!
It is possible to break your bad habits with some mindfulness, goal setting, and redirection. You’ve got this!
I wear a lot of hats; NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist; wife; fur mom; writer; college student; mental health advocate; pet sitter; Airman; athlete; and many more. I love my home in the southwest and my favorite season is summer. I am a sepsis survivor and I battle with generalized anxiety disorder and depression.