The Gratitude List…How to Condition Yourself for Success: How to Break Bad Habits

by Daniel M. Wood

We all have habits, tried, practiced and learned behaviors that let us act on autopilot.

They keep us in check and make sure that we can complete tasks on autopilot and still get them right every time. You can compare a habit to a mental programming that you can access anytime you drive a car, get out of bed, prepare yourself in the morning or go to work.

It lets you think about other things while doing things you do every day, perfectly.

The problem is that all of these programmed habits aren’t beneficial. Negative habits can be hard to break, but are very important to address. Most of us have a few bad habits like biting our nails, eating when stressed or taking a glass of wine after work every day. Some of these habits you don’t even notice doing, I had that problem when biting my nails, it came so naturally that I didn’t even think about it.

It is the nature of a habit that makes it hard to shed…

Since habits are programmed behaviors designed to make it easier for us to function, practiced behavior becomes hard for us to change. Our mind has learned to act in a certain way each time it encounters a situation, to unlearn a habit it takes a lot of conscious effort.

Focus on the positive outcome not the habit itself …

Focusing on a habit only reinforces it. The mind has trouble with the word “not” it doesn’t really understand the concept, which means that to the mind “I am NOT going to eat” becomes “I am going to eat” which reinforced the habit.

If you are down and depressed, the state of mind you are in when you chose to eat to cheer yourself up (I am using an example here, change the habit and situation to fit your negative habit) don’t even mention food in your mind, instead focus on what you should do instead e.g. “I will take a walk to clear my head” “I will write the things down so that I can look at them” and so on.

This method works and is the most efficient way to shed bad habits in my experience.