Adding Good Habits vs. Removing Bad Habits

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Bad habits die hard, it’s universally known. I’ve never met someone who had an easy time getting rid of a habit, they become part of our wiring, and undoing that isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s one of the main reasons that people give up on getting rid of them. It can seem just too difficult, and I get that. I’ve given up on a few of mine as well. I’m not exactly proud of it, but they felt to hard to change.

Is there an easier way to get rid of them? It’s a question that a lot of people have asked, and nobody really has an answer too, but there is an argument for pushing your bad habits out simply by forming good habits, but that too can be complicated because good habits are also hard to form. It takes time and repetition to create the wiring that all our other habits have. It requires forcing yourself to act and getting down right angry with yourself when you don’t want to. It requires self-discipline.

But is it the better alternative? Is it even true that you can push your bad habits out by replacing them with better habits?

I think there is some truth to it. I think that once we get caught up in our good habits, our bad habits seem less necessary. I think we run out of time to nurse all of our bad habits so some of them naturally die off. After all, since forming habits is hard work your mind won’t have the capacity to focus on absolutely everything. I don’t think it’s a completely solid way to get rid of all your bad habits though, some will linger on, despite being completely surrounded by good ones. Like I said, they die hard, some will persist.

But that leads to another question. Which one would you rather have? Less bad habits or more good habits? We’re complicated and just because we get rid of some habits doesn’t automatically mean we make more to take their place. If we only focus on getting rid of the bad without adding in the good, we find ourselves better off than we were before, but not as better off as we could be. By pumping yourself full of good habits you’re at least making bigger strides in the right direction. You’re moving towards a better you.

I’d rather have more good habits than less bad habits. Then at least I have something to balance myself with. Adapting good habits can change your life, and I think there is a few ways to tricking yourself into dropping the bad habits while you pick up the good.

For example: If you have a problem wasting time after work, try to add a good habit during that time. Maybe you want to work out more, make your goal to go to the gym after work instead of before work in hopes to push out the bad habit while forming a good one.

It’s going to be a lot of work whichever way you choose to approach it, but getting to a better you is always worth it. After all, if you’re not willing to invest in yourself, what are you willing to invest in?

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