Building and Breaking Habits

Building and breaking habits take time and commitment.

Whether you are trying to build a new habit or break an older one, it takes time. It also takes commitment on your part—a promise, not to anyone else, but yourself.

Commitments are promises we make to ourselves that we will work toward becoming the best version of ourselves that we can. When we do this, and we live our passion, we are living authentically.

Building habits

How long it takes to build a habit has been disputed, but for me, it takes a good thirty days. I know myself well enough to know I may start and then miss a day but that is okay as long as I get right back to it the next day.

Sometimes, starting a new thing, whether it be a workout, hobby, different schedule, can be scary. That is because we haven’t done it before. Our old self steps in and starts questioning if we can really do it. Don’t defeat yourself with negative self-talk.

Be honest with yourself. You are not perfect, and you are trying something new. It won’t be exactly as you want on day one. It takes time to hone a skill or establish a new routine for yourself.

The biggest mistake you can make is to break the commitment to yourself. Yes, it may be difficult but keep doing it. It will get easier. True, you may not be able to do it the way others are, but that is okay. Just do you and keep going.

If you stick at it, you’ll see the change and improvement as you strengthen and get better. You will even feel better for having kept to the promise you made to yourself.

Breaking habits

Life-long habits are tough to break, but people do it every day. Remind yourself of that when it is hard. Over 20 years ago, I quit smoking. It took me six months to stop sneaking a cigarette here and there. Every time I did, I felt terrible inside because I had let myself down.

So, why did I finally succeed? Because it was important to me. I recognized my failures as they occurred and reminded myself I would do better. I kept at it, but most importantly, I replaced it with something better. I took the money I was spending on cigarettes and hired a cleaning lady to come every two weeks. Even after paying her, I still had money left over.

If you want it bad enough, you can do anything and break any habit. Again, there are varying views on how long it takes, but the key is replacing it with something better, something more fulfilling.

Write down what habit you want to break, and then jot down what you were doing right before starting it. For example, if you were feeling bad about yourself or lonely and then began eating or drinking to make you feel better, you know the compelling factor that drove you to your habit.

Much of the time, it is our thoughts and self-talk that drive us to repeat bad habits. You must replace them with positive thoughts, gratitude and actions that make you more fulfilled.

Breaking bad habits is not always easy. It takes the same commitment and promises that building good habits does. It also takes courage and willingness—a willingness to step toward a better future, a better version of yourself.

Whether you are building a new habit or breaking an old one, recognize that building and breaking habits take effort. Be willing to do the work. You are worth it!

Free inspirational or motivational posts can be found on the inspirational page of my website.

Published by Leslie Dobson

Leslie has been writing since she was a young child, first with poetry and short stories and later with song lyrics, young adult stories and inspirational sayings. She is a multi-genre author and her blogs and books come when and where the Spirit leads.

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