Friday, 6 January 2012

The Real Secret of Quitting Bad Habits

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 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. But whether it’s smoking, not eating properly, lack of exercise, overspending, disorganisation, procrastination – whatever – there will always be an inherent issue that runs 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. Therefore, to quit bad habits we must be acting more consciously, always. Consciousness must become a practice for us.

So, it is not so much bad habits that hinder us, but what these habits are a product of: a snoozing consciousness. 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.

♥ 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.

Get conscious.

We’ve already spent a day surveying 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 in dialogue with yourself; a day conversing with your own consciousness. Every time you find yourself absentmindedly going to perform an action, whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’, stop and 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 I really encourage that you make notes if you can. For example, if you discover that you often bite your nails when your confidence is low, note that down. That way, when you feel under confident, you can offer yourself alternative measures of support, such as a string of beads to play with or a visualisation.

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 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, and why we’re doing it, we are less likely to slip up.

What are your bad habits? What are your good habits? Are you always conscious of doing them and, more importantly, why you're doing them? Let us know in the comments.


Vic said...

I'm absolutely loving this series! I'm terrible for biting my nails when I'm stressed, half the time I don't even realise I'm doing it. I've actually asked my housemates to point it out in an effort to stop!

Stephybabes said...

Some habits are pretty serious, like negative thinking, but you don't realise that they are habits until much later.

Kathy said...

I agree negative thinking is serious and something I struggle with at times . I'm really trying to make better eating choices .. I tend to wait until I'm starving then will snack on chips or crackers !!! I really want to change this !

Bee said...

I am have a horrible habit of always making excuses, I am a horrid procrastinator. I need to start doing something that scares me or that is tough every day so I have no worries in the next day.

The Dotty One said...

This is actually really hard - I've been trying to think about this today and its amazing how many things I do almost unconsciously! I think I am going to have to carry this one over to tomorrow too as I keep forgetting to think about what I am doing!

Mary P. said...

I am the world's greatest justify-er. Meaning that I can find a way to seemingly justify any behavior of mine or a friend's to get us feeling comfortable enough to go ahead and do whatever it is we want to do in the first place. Don't want to work out? Oh well it's okay, can go to morrow, and it's cold out, and you have a headache. Don't want to do the dishes? You deserve some me time, they can wait, you're only 23, who says you have to have a clean apartment all the time.

it's horrible.
I wish my inner dialogue would shut up sometimes!

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