What is a bad habit that you wish you could improve?
I started out my adult life with the bad habit of being late. I was late probably just about everywhere a few years ago. I wouldn’t plan well and would set my morning alarm too late, not keep travel time in mind or get distracted.
During this phase of life, I totally did not make it to an interview (I think they felt sorry for me and were willing to reschedule), I was late to so many classes in college and was always feeling the stress from it.
So, change! That seems like the easy thing to say and do but, change didn’t happen overnight, and it took practice. It also took the longing desire to be a better version of myself.
Let’s face it, bad habits can damage your reputation and hold you back. You can make changes and do better though. Whatever you are battling, it doesn’t mean you always will.
After reading this post, you are going to be aware of your bad habit that needs improvement, and you will have a plan to change the habit.
Realize Where You Are At
Being aware of your current situation is the best thing you can do. Take some time to think about what the bad habit is and why it happens. In my late situation:
- I wasn’t planning properly.
- I wasn’t managing my priorities.
- I didn’t keep a planner.
I learned during this time that not having a plan of attack is like asking for something to go wrong!
Next, think about how the bad habit makes you feel when you do it. How does it makes others feel? I felt stressed, frustrated with myself and like I didn’t have my life together. I think others felt disappointed in me and they knew that I could do better.
For me, the worst feeling was getting into a class in college with a professor who locked the door on the dot when class started. I felt so embarrassed (and I’m still embarrassed as I type this!) when I had to knock and disrupt everyone so they could let me in because I was late!
Lastly, I want you to think about why you want to change this habit? What will it really mean for your life? Changing a habit of being late meant no more disappointment or stress. This also meant that I was becoming more of a responsible adult which is what I wanted to be.
You really want to do all you can to put your best self forward because other people notice but also because you want more for your life so review this part as often as needed!
Being honest with yourself about the situation can be tough but it will be necessary to really achieve the things you want to achieve.
Get Down to Business
Now you will need to make a plan for changing the habit. This is the fun part in my opinion! It’s fun because you can start to see the new path immediately. You’ll start to see some light at the end of a tunnel that maybe you felt like you were stuck in before.
This can also be the most difficult part too! As you are creating a plan, be gentle on yourself and start with something small at first. It’s easier to add something new later down the road then trying to pick yourself up again after stopping due to overwhelm.
For being late, the first step was setting an alarm early enough so I would have the proper amount of time to get ready in the morning. Later, it was trying to get ready for bed earlier, then it was laying clothes out the night before. Make a list of what action items you think you need to do and pick one to start with.
Make a commitment to practice your first action item. After working through it a few times successfully, add in another action item and begin practicing this one next. Repeat this until you have been able to include all the action items.
Congratulations are in order, because you’ve gone through the bulk of it. The whole battle is recognizing what is going on, planning and trying and trying again.
At this point, consider whether your plan is working and if these really are the steps you should be doing. Sometimes the steps weren’t the right mix or maybe you are still finding areas of it challenging. If it all isn’t fitting, make some adjustments where you need to and try again.
When you are starting to see changes, you will begin to feel like you have a better handle on a routine and will feel less and less like your old habit is who you are.
Out in the world, others will notice your habit less and less if it was something they noticed before. You may also get a comment here and there about it. It can feel odd sometimes, but it all means that you are doing something different and it shows.
There will be times that you will stumble but go back to the plan you created, and you will be just fine with your new process.
Any bad habit that you are up against does not have to define you anymore. You will be well on your way, once you go through the steps of:
- Realizing where you are at
- Staying committed
Remember that getting rid of an old habit can be a challenge and it will take time and practice.
If you hit a point of difficulty on your new path, go back to your plan and make some adjustments that will keep you on the path to success. It really is within reach!
What is a habit that you would like to change? Let us know in the comments!
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