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)
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
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When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.