We all develop habits – those little automatic activities we do without thinking. Some habits are good for you, like exercise or brushing your teeth. But other habits such as overeating, smoking, or simply doing nothing but watching TV are bad for you.
We develop habits by repeating the same activity over and over. At first all habits make us feel good, but sometimes the guilt associated with a “bad” habit ruins the enjoyment. The bottom line is your habits, good or bad, are here to stay.
Developing New Habits
There is a way to get rid of those bad habits you’ve picked up over the years – you bury them under new habits! Since habits are developed (or learned) by repetition; you just have to start a new activity and do it over and over again until the new activity crowds out the old activity. For example, instead of watching TV for six hours in the evening, read for 1-2 hours. Instead of smoking all night long, start an exercise program (walking).
It won’t be easy at first. Those bad habits feel good so they are hard to replace. But keep at it and eventually those good habits will win out. Just remember, those new habits need to be something you enjoy doing. You can do this!