Ready, Set, Let Go! : Guide To Getting Rid Of Your Bad Habits and Living a Better Life
There's something about the season changing that puts the act of letting go into perspective. As the temperature begins to drop and the sun begins to set much earlier than usual, we end up spending more time indoors, more time alone, and more time with our thoughts. Alone time is excellent; it can help you analyze your life and get down to the nitty grittiness of the habits you have formed. Habits are bittersweet, they can either make you, or they can break you. Learning how to identify which patterns you should let go of is essential to your mental, physical, and emotional health.
What are habits?
At times habits are associated with a negative connotation, but there are other ways to view them. Patterns can either be big or small. They can appear to be insignificant, or extremely important. In a nutshell, habits are the actions we repeatedly practice, sometimes even subconsciously.
"Habits shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.”
"The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg"
Habits are so powerful that they overpower common sense! With that knowledge, I decided to change my life by periodically analyzing the patterns that are working for me and replacing the ones that were no longer serving me. It all starts with the will to want to change your trajectory. Your mind is so much more powerful than you can imagine.
When I was young, I had the terrible habit of biting my nails. Not only was it a disgusting habit, but it was also awful for my health, but I kept on munching away. One day I had enough, I was not too fond of the way my nails looked, short and unhealthy, so I decided to stop biting my nails. I made the conscious decision to terminate an action. Whenever I got close to biting my nails again, I reminded myself why I decided to stop eating them in the first place.
In High School, a teacher once told me that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I worked hard for the next 21 days, consciously making an effort not to bite my nails. I eventually forgot all about biting my nails, and ten years later my nails are long and healthy. I get compliments from manicurist about how healthy my nails look all the time!
That was a small habit but sometimes overcoming the small obstacles provide you with the courage you need to face the much bigger ones. Sometimes the more critical habits are the ones we are utterly unaware of having. For instance, the practice of holding on to a relationship with an individual when you know that the relationship is only draining your energy. A pattern can be clocking into a job every day that makes you miserable, or living life with an external locus of control, believing that you have no control over your own life.
Replacing Bad Habits
The first thing you have to do is to dig deep inside you and think about the situations, and people that no longer make you happy. Think of the reason that you are not satisfied, and write everything down on paper. Alongside every habit that you want to break, write the good habit that you want to use as a replacement. For example, every time I thought about biting my nails I did five squats.
Take a look at your list and decide for yourself which habits you want to work on first. You can select as many patterns as you want to work on at a time. Follow your intuition.
Train yourself to replace the habit for 21 days consecutively. It's crunch time; brain over matter. Every time that you're tempted in any way to fall back into the arms of your habit remind yourself why it no longer serves you. Remember never to underestimate your willpower.
With practice, it gets much more comfortable. Eventually, instead of just replacing habits, you'll find yourself creating up new patterns to implement in your daily routine, and positive habits is the key to living a better life. When you focus on your mental and emotional health, you naturally vibrate with the Universe, and when you're vibing with the Universe, you have full access to its generous abundance.