Simply defined, what you do over and over may become a habit. A behavior that is automatically repeated is a habitual behavior. Significantly, habits affect succeed. Good habit may propel a person to success and more importantly, it is a good virtue. An individual can be successful with good habits. In the contrary, failure is nearer to bad habits. As people often defend their good habit so do they to bad habits. When an individual is immersed in a bad habit, he will defend and protect the habit to the core. This makes it extremely difficult to transform a habit.
I was a sales clerk at a convenience store in the late 90s. A lady was one of my frequent customers. She was a nice customer but sadly, she had a bad habit. She was a chain-smoker. Because of her habit, her lungs were packing up. Even though she saw the danger in the smoking but to retract was difficult. Pretty much, she was hooked up with the habit and this turned addictive. According to her story, her doctor warned her to quit smoking in order to avoid protracted Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder and other associated medical problems but she did not. When asked what solution she had to this habitual smoking, she said “None”. She might have to keep the habit till she couldn’t do any longer.
In the United States, punctuality is the key to keeping a job. I started a job that was a bit farther away from home. Because I was used to waking up at a certain time when my workplace was a stone throw from my residence I wanted to maintain the same schedule despite how farther away my new workplace was to my house. Before I knew it, I was at all times late to work. I had to break the habit. I never knew that my supervisor was watching with keen interest until he commended my new habit. When people do not detect the bad smell in their lives, other will. Good habit has its benefits. With it, you may be successful, have good health, or associate with people that matter. Bad habits, on the contrary, may promote bad values, create health problems, or promote failure. It is therefore advised to keep good habits. Bad habits are dangerous and a quick and accurate intervention will save you from them.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR BAD HABITS
It does not take too long to create a habit, but to maintain or break it may pose some challenges.
i. First, observe your habit and critically define/describe what it is. If you are a procrastinator, clearly define what procrastination is, and the effects it has on its victims.
ii. Do not underestimate the disadvantages inherent in your bad habits and never allow you to deceive you.
iii. Avoid substituting a bad habit with another bad or worse habit. Your intent is to extinguish this habit.
iv. Continue to live without the bad habit and bear the consequence of change. Euphoria recall may happen but still hold on to your goals.
v. Practice this new replacement good habit over and over. When outburst happens, take it as part of the process. The absence of that bad habit or the presence of a new one will soon be part of you.
vi. Be consistent and know that contemplation may be a stumbling block.
vii. Whenever there is a relapse, do not give up. Use the relapse as a new benchmark or baseline for improvement
viii. Celebrate your new good habit as you go.
© Copyright 2021
Dr. Silas Falokun is the coordinator of the Prison Rehabilitation Ministry International (PREMI) in North and South America. He is a behavior interventionist and an expert in prison matters. He is an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.