5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

STACK Expert Chris Stankovich provides five tips to help you break bad habits and change your lifestyle.

Have you ever attempted to change a bad habit, and only succeeded for a few days?

You are not alone.


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Have you ever attempted to change a bad habit, and only succeeded for a few days?

You are not alone.

We typically have no trouble changing our behavior for a short period of time. It's easy to eat healthy or go to the gym for a few days. But problems arise when we attempt long-lasting, permanent changes.

We all have things in our lives that we would like to permanently change. Why is it so difficult? I've addressed this question with hundreds of clients, and I hope to give you the info you need to change your behavior and drop bad habits.

Accept That Change is Difficult

There is nothing "easy" about breaking an old bad habit or beginning a new good habit. However, change is not impossible. A new way of life exists, but you need to work for it.

Adopt and New Way of Thinking

"If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten." I first heard this saying many years ago, and it has stuck with me. The definition of "insanity"—doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results—is strikingly similar. The message is that change can happen, but it requires a new way of thinking.

Think "Life Change"

Strive for a long-term life change rather than a quick fix or short-term adjustments. Envision the future change as having a dramatic, positive and productive effect on your life. This will help you more readily accept the changes that are required—even if they are difficult, such as avoiding sweets.

Change Your Approach When Necessary

It's not uncommon to run into unexpected challenges and obstacles when changing behaviors, so be open to new ways of thinking. The "build a better mousetrap" philosophy is key when changing habits, so be sure to scrutinize your approach to change, and decide whether it needs tweaked.

Start as Soon as You Are Ready

Rather than sit and ruminate for a long time, jump in and get started—if you're ready. Sometimes when we think too long, we actually lose our enthusiasm and motivation. It's called paralysis by analysis.

Life change can be difficult, but it is possible. Think about your current life and the things you want to change, then begin to acquire information that will help you make the transition. For more information on making positive life changes and behavior modification, check out Changing Habits for Life Success.

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