Habit Forming Lifestyles

Good Counsel - Good HabitsHow do you break the compulsion of bad habits? Habits encompass more than biting your nails, cracking your knuckles, or struggling to stop smoking. Habits affect your mind, and represent a pattern of behavior that creates a familiarity and desire to be repeated.

Habits are not always bad. Running regularly, reading the Bible everyday, or brushing your teeth each morning are good — and much appreciated — habits.

Habits, whether good or bad, affect not only our health and well being, they also affect how we relate with those around us.

habits affect how we relate with those around us

Dictionary.com posts this definition: “a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality.”

We can choose to have a dominant tendency or develop a prevailing character quality.

King Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 8:1, A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.

Wisdom is where knowledge and common sense come together. We can make wise choices that can actually change our outward appearance. James 1:5 states, If anyone lacks wisdom, to ask God, who gives generously without finding fault.

Most articles on the subject maintain the same core ways to change a bad habit. When bad habits affect relationships, you can use this same “change-tree” to reverse negative tendencies and build up character qualities.

  • Define the Bad Habit and Commit to Change
    • Before you can change anything, you need to identify the habit to change
    • You can’t change anything unless you are ready AND committed to do so
    • If you’re NOT ready, choose a roadblock as your first bad habit to break
  • Disrupt the Habit
    • Block habits by disrupting the specific actions that make up the habit
    • Stop the habit from becoming mindless; force yourself to have to think first
    • Sometimes you can change your environment to help disrupt the habit
  • Create a Habit Diary
    • Identify triggers (elements in life that support the current habit)
    • Make note of dates, times of day, moods, environments, and thoughts
    • Identify patterns
    • Learn as much as you can about why you allow the habit to continue
  • Replace a Bad Habit with a Smart Habit
    • Replace something with something better!
    • Use the 180º technique, turn your actions around to begin a smart habit
    • Create goals that interest and excite the onset of change
  • Reward Yourself
    • Provide yourself with positive feedback
    • Engage others to check your progress and lend enthusiastic support

Working with a counselor can help you identify your personal, relational, and spiritual goals, and discover the tendencies that are holding you back from developing strong character qualities. Chuck and Stephanie have dedicated themselves to helping people exchange bad habits for smart ones, and share their wisdom generously without finding fault.

note these important factors of success

trade a bad habit for a good one track your success to understand what works treat yourself well with meaningful rewards

Change tree content from “Bad Habits and Your World” on Dr. Phil.com

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