Commit to breaking just one bad habit by honestly reflecting on why you want to change it and identifying what triggers it.
November’s 12 Months of Wellness focus is on breaking one bad habit. While many of us wait for January 1st to resolve to change our bad habits, now’s as good a time as any. Yes, now, today, right this minute, we can commit to breaking one, count ‘em, just one bad habit.
My grandmother was once stopped on the streets of downtown Toronto and asked by a TV reporter what her New Year’s resolutions were and whether she had any bad habits she wanted to break. She replied, “I don’t drink. I don’t smoke, and people who do are crazy!” It was worth staying up to watch the late night news to see her call a vast majority of Canadians crazy.
No matter what the bad habit is you’d like to break—smoking, drinking, overeating, inactivity, staying up too late, sleeping in too late, drinking too much coffee, worrying too much, spending too much money—we can all start in the same place.
Commit to breaking one habit
To do this, it helps to work though this four-step process:
1. Understand why you want to change your habit.
This requires some time for reflection. Choose a quiet place where you can do some soul searching uninterrupted.
2. Identify the cues and triggers that contribute to your habit.
Be honest with yourself. Do you stay up too late because you obsessively have to check your email or Twitter feed? Do you have a smoke when you have a coffee? Do you reach for the bag of barbecue chips when your spouse criticizes you? It may help to write your thoughts and feelings down.
3. Believe that you can change your habit.
Analyze the information you’ve come up with so far. Why do you want to change your habit? What triggers contribute to it? Continue to think about your habit over the course of the week and form a strategy to change it.
4. Commit to change.
It may seem daunting right now, but once you come to understand what drives your habit, you can commit to change it.
I always stay up later than I intend to. So this week, I’m going to reflect on why I deprive myself of much-needed sleep.
Don’t forget to download your November goal tracking sheet, and check back in on Wednesday when we’ll find out how some of the alive employees have tackled the bad habits in their lives.