Originally published December 20 2012
Seven ways to break your bad habits for the new year
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) One of the worst cases of journalistic pandering to authority was witnessed in a Midwest college town during the holiday season some time ago. The town newspaper sent a journalist to a licensed psychology therapist and asked her what people should do to master their New Year's resolutions.
Naturally, the resolution of losing weight was foremost, and the therapist's advice flowed freely as the journalist gobbled it up to regurgitate for the town's readers. Somehow, the journalist never questioned why this therapist, who was under five feet tall and small boned, weighed 300 pounds.
That therapist's condition wasn't her natural state. When she was 20 years younger, she was attractive, petite and weighed less than 100 pounds after a heavy meal. So let's all be counseled by her for New Year's resolutions on losing weight, eh?
The point is only you can decide and manage resolving bad habits and changing them to better ones. Maybe a few tips or emotional support from others will help, but you have to practice willpower yourself or you'll never have it.
Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, wrote that you must exercise your will without permanently giving in until the day you die. He meant it within the context of evolving spiritually.
(1) First realize it's your bad habit without shaming and blaming yourself. It's your habit, and it's there because you've been practicing it consciously or subconsciously for some time. This is taking responsibility. It may be wise to isolate, analyze, and write down what keeps you from moving on.
(2) Once you've taken responsibility, don't fear failing or getting worse. But realize deeply that there is a need to change and nourish that need with some level of optimistic possibility.
(3) Next, you need to demand improvement from yourself. This is more powerful than others' demands if you intend to improve your will power. Don't get too harsh with yourself. Some temporary disappointment with your bad habit is normal. But get over it and change from the conceptual level to a heartfelt resolution.
Your demand to improve should be one of certainty. That doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for help from a higher power. If your bad habit is serious and costly enough, that's the type of help you'll need. Many call it grace. It's the only "other" you can rely on.
(4) You still may have to change the company you keep and/or your environment. This is tricky, because you can become complacent and think that's it, now that I've abandoned my former associates and old hangouts, I've conquered this bad habit. I'm finished.
But no matter where you go, there you are. It may be a necessary step, but it's not an end by itself. Actually, it's amazing how your outer situation can change if your inner self has already begun to really change.
(5) Be willing to accept friendly, helpful criticisms or reminders. Be willing to notice if and when you backslide and gently remind yourself to get on without your old bad habit.
(6) We are creatures of habit. Almost all we do in life is out of established habits. Those that are detrimental and need to be stopped demand replacement habits that are enjoyable and uplifting.
(7) Work on one achievable issue at a time. If you can go 30 days without falling back, then you might be able to work on another issue soon. It takes consistent, decisive will power. Every time you fall, get back on whatever it is you feel needs change or improvement.
Sooner or later your new good habit will make you wonder what the heck you were doing with that old bad one.
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