FINALLY Break Your Bad Habit With These 6 Steps
The power of habits is real. While deliberately starting good habits can help you succeed in work and life, poor behavior patterns can put a real damper on achieving your biggest goals. Hoping to learn more about how to break bad habits, we chatted with Kacey Cardin, a creative multipreneur, business and life coach. Read on for Kacey’s six tried and true tips for nipping bad habits in the bud, which are based on her experience coaching creatives, passionate people and hustlers who live all over the world.
1. Pinpoint your bad habit. Before you can break a bad habit, you need to fully acknowledge what you’re actually DOING, since many bad habits are acted out unconsciously. “Admit it to yourself, but without judgment. Beating yourself up about it does not actually serve you in the long run,” Kacey says. So whether you’ve gone a bit crazy with the caffeine, can’t put down your iPhone around friends or have been ordering takeout way too much, note it and know that you have the power to make a change.
2. Figure out your triggers. Do you indulge in late night snacking after an extended happy hour? Bite your nails when you’re bored? Zone out when a particular person speaks in meetings at work? Kacey says, “Begin to notice your specific pattern, your triggers and your biggest hang-ups. Work to figure out what void you’re really trying to fill or what problem you’re avoiding with the bad habit.” If it helps, write your triggers down. Understanding what causes you to act in a specific way is the first step toward resetting your patterns.
3. Find satisfying and healthy alternatives. Instead of saying something like “don’t eat that” to yourself, Kacey suggests finding something to fill the void or fix the problem that triggers your bad habit. For example, if you’re snacking to “treat yourself” during a crazy busy week, try shifting your thinking to “honor yourself” instead. Maybe you’ll opt for coffee and a long walk or see a movie with friends instead of working late. “Give yourself options and you’ll be more likely to choose something outside of your old habits, rather than just making yourself ‘wrong’ for picking old automated choices,” Kacey says.
4. Think about what you can gain by breaking your bad habit. Would you like to save money? Cut back on coffee or sugary snacks? Whatever it is, Kacey says, “Look at your bad habit in smaller increments — and NOT as ‘for the rest of my life.’ Bad habits are often about short-term satisfaction and rewards, so focus on what you can gain in the near future by ditching them instead of indulging in them.” Just like starting a new habit, breaking your bad habit down to something small also helps make it more doable. Seeing those tiny successes will inspire you to keep making a conscious effort to create change for yourself.
5. Use your network to hold yourself accountable. Holding yourself accountable is KEY — no matter what it takes. Kacey suggests, “Declare your efforts to break bad behavior on social media or even just to one person whose opinion you value, if it helps. Maybe even consider the potential effectiveness of declaring your goal to a work rival or frenemy within your social circle. In every instance, use the power of your ego to your own benefit!”
6. Round up your cheerleaders. Great news: You don’t need to go about breaking bad habits alone. Get friends, family, colleagues and/or a great coach on your side. Make a true effort to request positive reinforcement, acknowledgement, reminders and check-ins. If a good kick in the pants gets you going, request that too! While making changes can be super challenging, it’s absolutely doable, and you are worth ALL of the effort it takes.
Have you recently broken a bad habit? Tell us how you did it on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.