The idea of New Year gives people an urge for resolutions, changes, and quitting bad habits.
However, for most people, ending a bad habit is very difficult.
They have been doing those things for a very long time and bad habits really do die hard.
Going back to the phrase “New Year’s resolution,” it would help to know that the root word of “resolution” is “resolve.” That word means deciding firmly on a certain course of action. For some motivational speakers, resolve means promising oneself to never give up. For those who want to quit smoking or reduce alcohol intake, committing to having a stronger resolve means not giving in to the usual and familiar impulses.
According to nutritionist Laurel Mellin, it would be best to pause everyday for five times, and then ask yourself what you feel and what you need in order to successfully break an unhealthy habit. Mellin is also the author of the book The Pathway: Follow the Road to Health and Happiness. She said the first important step is to point to the emotions that trigger the bad habits you are trying to end. This way, it would be easier for you to cope with those emotions and create self-nurturing skills and limit-setting skills, instead of giving in to those vices or bad habits.
According to clinical psychologist and author of How to be your Own Therapist, Patricia A. Farell PhD, the more you do those bad habits, the harder it is to get rid of them, but all bad habits can be stopped.
Here are four simple things you can do to break your bad habits for the New Year:
Acknowledge you have a bad habit. You must think about how the bad habit may affect your life and admit to yourself that you want to alter it. Determine what those bad habits are, whether smoking, drinking, or overeating. Know what is holding you back from breaking those habits. Know who the people are and what things stop you from breaking these bad habits.
Change the environment. According to studies, your environment can trigger the feeling of doing that bad habit, even if you are consciously trying to stop it. Change certain aspects in your environment, like taking away the chair on your porch where you love to smoke while you ponder things. The people around you are also part of your environment, and yes, they also contribute to your bad habits. If you want to quit smoking, it would be best to stay away from smokers as much as possible. As the saying goes: “birds of the same feather flock together.” This does not mean avoiding or cutting off your relationship with these people; you just have to minimize the time you spend with them. After all, your family and your real friends will support you if you decide to cut any of your bad habits.
Find your deepest “why.” There is this father who was a chain smoker. He can consume two packs of cigarettes a day. He wanted to quit for years. He promised himself he would quit by the time he graduated college, or by the time he gets a job, but he was never able to make it, that is, until his son was born. His son was his biggest inspiration and most compelling reason why he quit. He does not want his son to become a smoker like him and he doesn’t even want his son to smell any trace of cigarette smoke. It does not have to be your son. Your parents, your siblings, or your spouse can also be your deepest reasons to quit smoking. Even your health is a big enough reason to quit.
- Finally, the best way to quit a bad habit is to just cut it out right away, abruptly, in an instant. No need for gradual processes. No need to attend meetings about it, which only brings you closer to people who have the same bad habits as you. You’d probably talk about those bad habits with them. Just cut it out and quit.