Whether it’s biting your nails, peeking at your phone too often or saying “like” before every sentence — pretty much every guy has a habit worth breaking free from. Here’s some simple suggestions that can hopefully help kick those bad habits for good.
Start With Your “Why”
The first step to kicking any bad habit is recognizing the issue and then writing down the reasons you want to kick it. As Simon Sinek explains in his book, Start With Why, our beliefs are the most-compelling drivers of behavior — so inspiring yourself to take action can be the strongest way to eradicate a bad habit and change yourself for the better.
Visualize The Win
Beat your bad habit by envisioning yourself conquering it. Picture the benefits you will reap without that bad habit holding you back. Experts vouch that affirming out loud to yourself what it is you want, “putting it out there” in the universe, actually creates more neural connections within and sets a course of action more firmly in your mind.
Identify Your Triggers
The next step to nixing an annoying quirk is recognizing what causes the behavior. Stress is an obvious trigger for most and while it’s a tough one to wrangle, just identifying it as the root cause for your bad habits can help manage these anxious situations.
Choose A Sub
Maybe it’s checking your fitness watch vitals as a reward against nail-biting, taking a short walk to slay nervous fidgeting or chewing some sugarless gum to stave off any thoughts of dessert. Every small change in behavior works like the famed butterfly effect in our brains, helping forge new pathways over time that reinforce positive action. A healthier habit can also be a clear indicator, noticeably flagging just how often we may mindlessly slip up hourly or daily.
Evolve Your Lifestyle
To ensure new, positive habits take root permanently, surround yourself with friends and others that share similar lifestyles and values. Good or bad, your social circle influences your own behaviors and will greatly help guarantee the success of your new, good habits if you’re surrounded by people who also practice what you preach. Embodying the lifestyle type you want helps further reinforce a new good habit – like signing up for an intramural soccer league to jump start a more active lifestyle rather than surrendering to the couch every night.
Just Do It
Jot down these steps on a Post-It and place it in a spot you’ll see everyday to help you stay focused on kicking any bad habit you may have. It takes a minimum of 30 – 60 days to begin breaking bad habits, so keep this list handy and don’t give up if you slip up along the way. Whether it’s nail-biting, lateness or junk food, just stick to the plan while embracing the positive changes in yourself and you’ll begin to notice a new and improved version of yourself emerge.