One of the things I hear most from people as they are thinking of changes to make is stopping things that were keeping them in a pattern of failure. They make resolutions to stop eating fried foods, to give up drinking, to quit smoking. These are habits many people try to get rid of; they’re trying to break the hold those habits have on their lives and they cannot picture these habits as part of a successful life.
In my own life I am making changes to live a healthier lifestyle, and the biggest bad habit I have is eating fast food. I have lived many years where my budget was limited and had to find a good deal in order to eat. The dollar menu at McDonald’s was good to keep me fed, but it was not the best thing for me.
Another bad habit I have is drinking energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster. I loved the taste of them, and they usually skyrocket my energy level, but in most cases it is too much. The truth is they are harmful to drink at the rate I was drinking them. So it has become a bad habit that I’m trying to remove from my life.
I want to show you a few steps to keep you on track and help avoid failure as you remove bad habits.
1. Form a reminder or something other trigger for if you are falling back into your habits. If you are trying to remove the energy drinks from your diet as I am, well removing them from the house is the first thing. But look at what other drinks lead up to them. I do drink many forms of caffeine and have had to limit myself to one per day. So I have set up a reminder to drink water more during the day. I replaced the shelf of energy drinks in my fridge with bottled water. That way when I grab a drink from the drink shelf it reminds me to choose something that is better for me.
2. Always replace what you are giving up with something else. This is a big one I learned when starting my coaching practice. I learned about space and energy in life. If you remove one thing something will jump in to fill its place and if you’re not careful, it can be another bad habit. In my life I have a tough time with this, as I want to remove things that are not needed to create more space. But I’ve learned that if I leave a void, something else will fill it. So replacing the bad habit with a good one is always a way to help get rid of those bad habits.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail. This is key. So many people just quit on what they worked hard on for so much time because of one minor foul up. So you failed; get up and start over. Think of how many times successful people fail. They get up one more time and try again. If you fell back into that bad habit, well, get back up and start over. This happens a lot with people who are trying to give up a habit completely – like drinking alcohol or smoking. They count the number of days they’ve gone without a drink or without a cigarette and if they slip, they simply have to start over. While I do drink some, and we have many parties here at our home that include alcoholic drinks, many people aren’t able to handle alcohol; they shouldn’t have it in their lives at all because it’s just not healthy for them. In my case those energy drinks are just not healthy for my life. If you fall off the wagon when one friend offers you a small drink or a cigarette, get up and start again; there is nothing wrong with failure if you learn from it. So set your goals high and take some chances to change your bad habits.
2012 is just starting; yes you are going to have a setback or failure this year. One or two of them will happen. You must learn to get back up and press on towards those goals you have set for yourself this year. Getting rid of the bad habits and replacing them with better ones will change your world one day at a time.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do, and those you share life with. Exchange your bad habits for good ones and become the RockStar in your world.