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)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com