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We all have bad habits, even me. My bad habit is cracking my knuckles when I am nervous or bored. How did I figure this out? I was preparing for a job interview and having my sister ask me questions. She noticed that I was always cracking my knuckles and it was driving her crazy! I quickly started to read about breaking bad habits and found a simple 3 step process.
I went ahead and used this process over the next couple of days and then had my sister perform a mock interview on my again. No more knuckle cracking. With a little work, no matter what your bad habit is, following the 3 steps I outline below will help you with breaking bad habits.
3 Steps To Breaking Bad Habits
Step 1: Become Conscious
Sometimes we know what our bad habit is while other times we are not conscious of it. For me, I didn’t even know I was cracking my knuckles. That is how common it became for me. My knuckle cracking caught me off guard because I didn’t know I was doing it. Once she mentioned it to me, I became conscious of it and took note of when I did it.
Even if you don’t have someone to point out your bad habit, you can still take note of when you are doing most of your bad habits and then move on to the next step.
Step 2: Journal it
Once you recognize your bad habit, it is time to take more in depth notes about it. Record what you were doing, when and how you were feeling. This will actually enhance step one and make you even more conscious of it and help you with breaking your bad habit. Keep the log for a couple of days or weeks and then begin to analyze it. You should begin to see some sort of pattern developing.
For instance, I know of someone who smoked and wanted to quit. Step one was easy for him to complete because he knew he smoked, but he couldn’t begin to break the habit until he knew why he smoked. So, he began to journal it and very quickly he realized the situations where he was smoking and developed a plan for breaking his bad habit.
Step 3: Replace it
Now that you have become conscious of your bad habit and know what triggers it, you can begin to act. For me, my knuckle cracking was associated with nervousness. Now when I feel myself becoming nervous, I take note so that I don’t crack them. I will fold my hands together or put them in my pocket, both of which help.
My smoking friend from above took a similar root. He noticed that his smoking was associated with drinking beer. For whatever reason, when he drank a beer, he smoked. He began to drink beer without smoking until he could enjoy drinking a beer without the need for a cigarette. He has been smoke-free for over 10 years.
All bad habits are triggered by something. The goal is to determine what that trigger is so that you can begin the process of breaking bad habits. Understand that breaking bad habits isn’t easy and it will take some time for you to conquer them. But by following the three steps outlined above, you will have a better handle on being successful in your quest. Once you overcome your bad habits, you can start to learn how to replace them with good habits so that you can live a happier and more fulfilled life.
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