A habit is any action that we have performed so often that it becomes almost an involuntary response. If we consider this habit to be undesirable then we may label it a "badhabit." People spend countless hours and dollars each year attempting to break these bad habits and often do not have any success. Why? Because there is no magic bullet. Change is hard work and thereis no short cut to achieving it. The steps a person needs to take, however, can be very simply outlined. To effect a change in habits, one needs to bring the action back into the realm ofconsciousness and regain the ability to make choices.
What's the Payoff?
The first step in breaking a bad habit is to look at why you find this action so compelling. In other words, what's the payoff for doingthis seemingly negative thing? Since you've already classified this as a "bad" habit you may be tempted to say there isn't one. But look closer. There is always a payoff. Let's say your bad habit isyelling at your kids. What's in it for you? You let off some steam and feel a little better for the moment. Or you have a bad habit of leaving the dishes unwashed? The payoff could be that you get tospend more time on the Internet!
What's the Trade Off
Next, take a look at the trade off. What is it that you are losing by exercising your habit? This step should be easier. Just think why it isthat you consider it a bad habit in the first place. Yelling at your kids is a bad habit because it leaves everybody feeling tense and tears down your children's self-esteem. You are trading a temporaryrelease of tension for the emotional health of your children. Leaving the dishes undone is a bad habit because your kitchen is a smelly mess. To have more Internet time you are trading off having apleasant living environment. When you look at it that way it doesn't seem like you are making very wise choices, does it? There has to be a better way.
Time to Make a Choice!
Now that you've weighed...