Knowing why, commitment, distraction, substitution and focus are all very, very important when it comes to habit busting, but there is something even more important. You mustn’t give up on yourself.
How to break a bad habit
Step 9. Do it until it’s done
Truth is, I think a bad habit that you’ve had for a very long time takes a very long time to break. That seems about right, doesn’t it? I know I’ve always been impatient with change, wanting it to happen two weeks ago. But that’s not how things work.
Mostly we’ve got to just keep plugging away at a bad habit until one day we find that we’re just not thinking about it anymore. Then we know we’re done but we kind of don’t really because we’re not thinking about it, right? This change thing is really more whimper than bang.
Change really happens when we are busy doing our new happy things and we don’t feel like we need to change anymore. That’s why 21 days is a good idea because it gives us an end point to celebrate, and celebrate we must! But don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re home free after 21 days… you might be, but you might also need to stay vigilant and keep on going with your distraction and your substitution for as long as it takes.
This is why when you make a mistake or go back to your old ways of doing things it’s not the end of the road. Rather it’s just a prickly path you need to navigate on the way to the shiny new you. Stay focused on what you are trying to achieve, accept that you’re habits might sometimes be stronger than you are and realise that that’s okay. You will get there in the end, provided you never give up. Remember the mantra:
Keep remembering your why and do this for you. You are worth the fuss and bother. You are worth the hardness.
Are you ready to begin or did you begin already?