How to Form Good Habits and Break the Bad Ones

By: First Union


How to Form Good Habits and Break the Bad Ones

There are all sorts of habits—those that are rote, for instance, that we practice daily because it is how we've come to steer our lives. And then, of course, there are those habits that can be destructive and consequently cause difficulty for us. So how do you break such habits, and what's more, how do you go about forming new, positive habits? Breaking bad habits can be challenging, but there are steps you can take and things you can practice that will enable you to overcome those habits that are not serving you well.

Reduce Stress

We all know how detrimental stress can be. Stress can even cause people to manifest physical symptoms such as illnesses. And, believe it or not, stress is often at the heart of why we've developed a negative habit in the first place. For instance, frequently during stressful times, people will turn to eat, be it overeating or indulging in sugar-laden foods. The feel-good factor, that immediate gratification that you get from chocolate, appears to help offset the stress; in actuality though, it's a temporary stopgap. High-stress levels can cause people to smoke, drink, even turn to stronger narcotics. Whatever you can do to de-stress, do it: get more sleep, exercise, meditate, this will not only help you tackle that bad habit but in the process, you are forming a much more beneficial habit.

Be Open To Switching Out Your Habits

This sounds simpler than it might be for some. But without question, you have to be proactive when it comes to breaking bad habits. When you feel the urge to engage in a habit that you know falls into the negative category, this is when it's time to pivot. Find something that excites you, that helps you feel good and make this the replacement habit for that which is otherwise bad for you. If for example, you have a drink at five every evening, perhaps replace that by increasing your water intake. Consciously decide to swap out the bad with the good, and motivate yourself to stick to this plan.

Set Essential Goals for Yourself

Goal setting is so important especially when it comes to trying to redirect and or repattern your behavior. And yours don't necessarily have to be monumental goals. Start small when it comes to goal setting. Work through mini-milestones and eventually it will become easier to wean yourself off of a given bad habit. You also want to take some time to visualize yourself achieving your goals. Visualization can be a highly effective tool when it comes to both breaking bad habits and establishing new, positive ones. You begin to truly believe that you can, in fact, accomplish what you set out to. The mind is an incredibly powerful resource—be sure to use it.

At First Union Lending, we've worked with so many successful entrepreneurs. These are people who diligently practice positive behaviors, who set out to establish beneficial patterns in their lives and their businesses. We would love to talk to you. Call today to see how our loan programs can help!

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