Blow up bad habits

Here is some writing I did for Quora on changing bad habits to good ones. I was answering a question about spending less time watching videos (which was an ingrained habit) and more time on useful things like fitness, study and art.

You have all that video time to work with. That is a good thing.

Because you say they are habits, they might be hard to break, or at least they are quite ingrained in your current mindset.

Start by mentally blowing up those habits. There is no need to see them as permanent, and they aren’t even ‘yours’. Explode them.

They weren’t doing you any good, so just as well be blew them up with a big bomb.

Congratulations. You have made the decision to change. Keep remembering this decision, it is important. Write it in big letters and put it somewhere like your fridge.

Now, time for some thinking and planning and writing down. It will be well worth doing.

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Plan what you day should be like:

  • Not every day will be perfect, so work out what a Good, Better and Best day might be like.
  • Plan for Best, but if you get to Better or Good, that’s an improvement.

  • It’s up to you how you schedule these time slots.
  • You might not want to schedule, but to have a To Do List where you tick off when you have done them.
  • Work out what suits you.
  • No need to tackle everything on day 1.
  • Even though we blew up your old habits, if they are still lurking, it’s better to take baby steps than take on too much and find you can’t change that much all at once.
  • What if you ‘fail’ or don’t do as well as you hoped?
    • You certainly don’t give up.
    • You dust yourself off and get back on the horse.
    • You remind yourself that gradual change is more likely to be permanent.
    • Remember your decision to do this and keep committing to it.
    • No one gets it perfect all the time.
    • Congratulate yourself for all you have done — remember the bomb? That’s at least 1 thing you have done.
    • All improvements are achievements and steps on the road you want to take.
  • Review how you are going, take note of your improvements. Tweak your system where needed.
  • When you have achieved some progress, see if you can step it up a little.

Good luck.

If you think strategies to attack procrastination might be helpful, I wrote an article here. (and I mean attack)