I have been trying to break a bad habit. It’s hard. It comes and goes. I stop for a few days and then I start doing it again. I justify to myself. I come up excuses. I feel guilty. I start all over again. I have left behind in the dust other bad habits. Completely given up, never to go back to them. 

So what have I learnt from my successes and failures at breaking bad habits. Here are my top 5 lessons.

  1. Understand why you do it and whats the damage it causes – I gave up drinking sugary colas after drinking them daily for 25 years. The trigger – understanding the damage sugar was causing my body, my mind and how it was leading me to diabetes and potentially cancer. In fact it so motivated me, I ended up researching the subject and writing a book about it. In the case of watching porn occasionally I could not lay down my finger on what was the damage porn was causing me clearly. Hence I didn’t fully stop.
  1. Stops and Starts Don’t Work – Bad habits are sticky. Very sticky. They don’t go away easily. They want to come back. So stopping a little by little does not work. You have to keep doing step 1 till you are fully convinced on why you need to stop. Then decide the moment of stopping and stop. Don’t look back. Close the door and don’t open it again. It’s shut forever. 
  1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Whatever and whoever is your bad habit, must stay away from you. Don’t tempt yourself. Develop a system where you keep away from the temptations and the bad habits. If it’s alcohol then you wont go to bars. If it’s sugar then tell your family not to buy sugary treats for you and for them to enjoy them alone, without tempting you
  1. Recommitment – Our commitment and motivation may wane with time. Things change. We may not be able to keep our energy going. So find a time every month for 15-20 minutes to remind yourself of step 1 – why do u want to do this ? what will happen to you and your loved ones if you do not do it ?

Follow these 4 steps and start to make bad habits history. I hope the next time I write I will be rid of the bad habit I am targeting right now. it’s a persistent beast but I am a patient man ☺

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