Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Real Secret of Quitting Bad Habits

Image thanks to amber renee

“A habit is something you can do without thinking - which is why most of us have so many of them.” 
Frank A. Clark

None of us are perfect, we know that. If we were, life would be pretty dull, but that doesn’t mean that we should accept our bad habits. Achieving our amazing life, as we have seen, does not arise passively, it involves harnessing the power over our own existences. And this involves a vital ingredient: consciousness.

Many of us, when we have an issue, rush our thoughts ahead to how we can overcome it without bothering to question why the issue exists. Bad habits are the same. Whether it’s smoking, not eating properly, lack of exercise, overspending, under-saving, disorganisation, procrastination – whatever – there is an issue there that goes deeper than the act itself.

It is important to realise that most bad habits are acted out subconsciously; they are basic desires realised by a lazy mind. To quit bad habits we must be acting more consciously, always.

So, it is not so much bad habits that stop us being successful in our amazing existences, but what these habits are a product of: a snoozing conscious. When we are conscious of our behaviour, our drives, and ourselves as beings, then we are on our way to big success; we stop sleeping through life.

Summary:

♥ It is not the how of a bad habit, but the why that is important.
♥ Habits are our subconscious at work, therefore we can beat them with consciousness.
♥ Stop sleeping through life.

Homework:

♥ Get conscious.

Overwhelming ourselves with change is never a good idea so, even if you feel you have many bad habits, it makes more sense to start with the root of your problem, rather than target each one individually. Our aim, then, is to achieve more consciousness. We’ve already spent a day observing ourselves, now it is time to take that concept a step further. We must listen to ourselves; we must become conscious of our habits, so that when we are we performing them, we are at least aware, if nothing else.

I want you to spend a day talking to yourself. Not aloud, in a crazy-bag-lady kind of way, but in your own conscious. Every time you go to perform an action, think about that action. Ask yourself: how do I feel now, doing this? Am I bored, tired, happy, sad? Why am I doing this? Is this a conscious choice? Make yourself accountable for every action. This homework doesn’t require any writing in your notebook but, if you get really inspired, it might be an idea to record some of the conscious answers you uncover.

The reason we are doing this with all of our actions, rather than merely our bad habits, is so that being conscious becomes a constant pattern in our lives. The point I’ve made is that we often act out bad habits without even thinking about them, but if we can form the positive habit of always thinking about what we are doing, we are less likely to slip up.

If you feel you have a positive day, and that this exercise has helped you with your bad habits, then keep it up! Spend every day being accountable, questioning and striving to understand yourself and your actions more fully.

6 comments:

Mandi said...

AHH I have the worst habit of biting my nails. I LOOVE having long nails but I just can't seem to keep them for more than a week without chewing them all off. It's totally true what you said though, it's about not noticing we're doing it. I mindlessly chew on my nails and don't even realize I'm doing it.

And the "stop snoozing through life" bit also made me laugh, since my other bad habit is napping all the time. haha

Jodi said...

So true, love this :)

Aury said...

I bite my nails too. And I know I do it when I'm nervous or stressed. but I don't know how to make myself stop. If I could only something else to do when I'm nervous to alleviate the tension or stress.

Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow said...

Aury maybe you need to find the link between stress and biting your nails... I mean, biting nails doesn't help with anything, so why do we do it ? We can be nicely stressed without that.

Or try EFT, it helps some people to release such things.

Apart from the nail biting (yes, me too), I think I need to deal with the habit of spending too much time on the internet, snacking on chocolates...

Neysa said...

I found that painting my nails helped heaps with nail biting - I didn't want to stuff up the paint job, and bits of polish flaking off taste terrible!

I somehow missed this day, so I'm going to do it today instead! I already have an idea that my recent obsession with blogging has become a bad habit - I'm barely going to the beach anymore because I'm either writing, or reading other peoples writing!

Anonymous said...

I've bitten my nails since I was three, by imitating my mother. I find it do it when I'm nervous, anxious, or thinking. When I try to solve problems I bite my nails non-stop, and I'm fully conscious of it. I think it's because I find it comforting (having spent the last 15 years as it being a habit), like a baby blanket. When I'm in uncomfortable situations or when I'm (my mind) exploring new territories, I need something to anchor me, aka my baby-blanket-like bad habit.

I've realized all this, and I'm stopping at midnight, because I've been hyping up August 1 as my time of change. :) Even though it's halfway through the year, it's never too late to carry through on a resolution. ;]

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