We all have bad habits. There are things we should be doing instead of the things we are doing. We know what we’re doing isn’t good, but we can’t stop doing it. What’s up with that? We’re smart enough to be aware of what would be better for us to do, but we don’t always do that. Why? One is not good, the other is good, it should be simple, right?
Well, the bad may not be as bad as it seems. We wouldn’t be doing the bad thing, or the less good thing, if we weren’t getting something out of it. At some level, either surface or deeper down, we are getting something good out of the bad habit.
What is the benefit(s) of the bad habit?
What happens because of the bad habit?
What are the results of the bad habit?
How do other people act, or have to act, because of the bad habit?
What makes the bad habit so appealing? What are you getting out of it?
Are there things about the bad habit that motivate you to keep doing them? What are these things?
Are there things about the bad habit that are a result from another bad habit or routine? If we follow the thread, what is the root cause, and how can we fix it?
Let me give you an example. Let’s say the bad habit that I want to change is getting fast food for lunch every day at work. Fast food is not good for you, and it can be more expensive than bringing food from home. I have everything to gain by bringing food from home for lunch, right? So why not do it? Well, let’s think about why I still get fast food. It’s easy. I don’t have to take time out of my day to go to the store and buy ingredients to make lunch and then make the lunch. It also tastes good, probably better than whatever I make myself since I’m not the best home cook. I would have to cook more to improve my cooking skills. I get to leave the office in the middle of the day, and it breaks up my day which is nice. Perhaps I’m avoiding socializing with a coworker I don’t like. All this is to say, it takes work to do the good thing and there are so many benefits to the bad thing.
Now that I know what I’m getting out of the bad habit, how can I combat these things with he desired habit?
Are there any uncovered, needed goals or tasks we need to address in order to accomplish the desired habit?
What’s the bigger picture? How can you stay on track to this picture?
Think about what benefits you are getting out of the bad habits, or things you want to change. How can we get these same benefits, or find better benefits, out of the desired habit?