Habits, good and bad ones, form us day after day. Positive habits are difficult to implement but even though you manage to stick to them, you definitely need to identify your bad habits and break them to be successful.
Implementing positive habits to support your goals will not guarantee your success if you sabotage yourself with bad habits.
I feel you if you have set goals but failed to achieve them. High hopes rapidly decline after January, and we often slowly forget about our resolutions and plans. It’s very simple to be back to where you started and give up on your goals.
If you encounter yourself in this situation, this post will help you identify bad habits to break to be successful and give you simple tricks that can help you make your new healthy and productive habits stick!
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Why you should identify bad habits
If you are reading this post, chances are that you feel the need to change your life and become a better version of yourself.
To do so, the first step is to imagine your dream life and identify the gaps between your current reality and dreams.
Working on reducing these gaps should be your number one priority.
To do so, you probably want to implement new habits and routines. And that’s a great thing to do.
But this might not be enough because bad habits you carry for many years will sabotage your progress.
Identifying and breaking bad habits will also allow you to replace them with habits supporting your goals.
If you plan to change your life this year, breaking the bad habits below is one of the steps you need to take to succeed.
Lack of organization and planning
Lack of organization and planning is the main reason most people fail at achieving their goals. This is a bad habit most people keep all their lives.
Being organized will make it much easier for you to stick to your new habits and routines.
Let’s say you want to work out 4 times a week. If you don’t plan when and where you will do it, chances are you will not stick to this resolution.
Implementing new habits is hard. To make it easier, you need to have a clear plan, set the ideal timing, and adapt your environment to make it easy to follow your plans.
Your environment is just as important as your goals and plans.
Working out 4 times a week will be much easier if you have enough workout clothes so you don’t need to do the laundry after each session and if you have some equipment at home.
This applies to fitness goals, but it also applies to any goal you set.
To stay focused, you need a written plan and strategy. This is a secret habit successful people share.
For every goal, define a clear plan for when and where you will work on it.
There is no need to make a super detailed plan. As Tony Robbins often says: “Complexity is the enemy of execution”.
Keep things clear and simple.
When thinking about your goals and new habits to develop to reach them, complete the following sentence:
I will (new habit) on (day of the week) at (time) in (location).
Having a clear plan on what to do, when to do it, and where will make it much easier for you to stick to new habits.
To make new habits stick, you need to make them easy to follow and set clear intentions.
Having the big picture in mind will not be enough to guarantee your success. You need to have a clear plan and the intention to live by it.
Lack of planning is definitely a habit to break to be successful this year!
Not finishing what you started
Not finishing what you started is one of the worst habits for your productivity.
Usually, people who do not finish what they started to do it for one of the following reasons:
- They do not have a clear plan and deadline, feel no urgency and procrastinate:
If you struggle to finish what you start, you should first identify why.
Think about all the things you were super excited to do but never did, and ask yourself why you actually didn’t do it.
Was it because of lack of time? Because things were getting complicated, and you didn’t think you could make it? Or because you did not think it was worth your time?
Understanding why you never finish what you start is key to identifying the reasons behind this bad habit and breaking it.
Finishing an activity before starting something else is an essential productivity rule.
Based on the reasons why you never finish what you start, you will need to adapt your plans.
- They decide to give up as a result of fear and hesitation
Success comes with hard work. It is rarely easy to achieve it otherwise, everyone would do so.
Succeeding at something hard is so rewarding. After reaching a goal, one feels at the top of the world.
This feeling motivates us to set new goals and achieve them. It’s a virtuous circle.
Giving up has the exact opposite effect. This is why some people always set a tone for goals but never reach them.
Giving up is often seen as a failure, and failing can negatively impact our self-esteem and confidence. This is why finishing what you started is so important.
It trains you to cope with difficulty and gives you a feeling of achievement once a goal is reached or a task is completed.
Impulsive scrolling on social media
We discussed this in last week’s post about 15 secret habits of people reaching success.
Avoiding distractions is key to staying focused on your plans. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to understand that time is your most valuable asset.
Truth is that the way you decide to spend your time will hugely impact your progress.
Instead of mindlessly scrolling on social media, ask yourself how to use this precious time to focus on your personal growth and goals.
Many people complain that they do not have time to work out, read books, or start a side hustle.
If you think so, then think again.
Improving my time management skills helped me balance college, a full-time job, and a side hustle.
This is why being aware of how you decide to spend your time is key to your success.
Mindlessly scrolling on social media, playing on your computer, and binge-watching Netflix will negatively impact your long-term goals.
Take back your time and use it to support your life goals and create a life you’ll love to wake up every day.
Spending less time on social media will make a huge difference in your daily life, helping you be more productive and freeing up time for things that matter.
Being more productive is key to reaching success. If you need help, these productivity tips come in handy.
Doing things mindlessly
This is probably the most difficult habit to break.
Our lives are so busy these days that it is super easy to get things done on autopilot.
Doing things fast might seem like a good thing at first sight. The problem is that we do so many things on autopilot that we tend to do them without even realizing it.
If you want to succeed, you need to understand that how you decide to do things is just as important as what you actually do.
This is something I figured out myself during my weight loss journey. I was desperate to lose weight but couldn’t because I kept eating between meals.
The worst is that I wasn’t even conscious of it. I would eat a biscuit while answering emails or pour myself a glass of coke during a long meeting.
These little treats would add up at the end of the day, and, as a result, I was overeating and wasted years wondering why I wasn’t able to lose weight.
Doing things fast and mindlessly is a bad habit we all have. It often goes hand in hand with Multitasking.
The best-selling book Atomic Habits by James Clear describes a great technique to do things with more mindfulness.
The author explains that “pointing and calling” is a great way to be more aware of what we do daily.
This technique consists in saying in loud what we are doing. This is a great way to avoid mistakes and ensure we do not forget anything before leaving the house.
But this simple trick can also help you be more conscious of your bad habits.
Using this technique after setting new goals is an easy way to identify bad habits that can slow you down.
You can point out and call your activities during the day and ask yourself if they are helping you to achieve your goals or negatively impacting your success.
This simple technique is a great way to add awareness to your daily routines.
And we all know awareness is key to changing our lives.
Now, this is no secret… Multitasking is never a good idea.
First of all, we are never really multitasking. We are not able to focus on 2 activities at a time.
When multitasking, we are consistently switching between 2 or more activities.
Every time we switch from one task to the other, we need to take time to refocus, and this is why multitasking is not productive.
The fact that we lose focus when jumping from one activity to another decreases our overall performance and increases the risk of mistakes.
This is why you should ban multitasking if you want to get things done.
If you feel like you cannot stay productive when life is busy, try to time block.
Discover how time blocking will help you be successful with these time blocking tips.
Staying in your comfort zone
The “comfort zone” is defined by Lifehacker as a “behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk.”
Most adults never leave that safe zone, and it makes total sense. Not taking risks makes life easier and reduces anxiety. Your comfort zone is like a comfy space in your head.
Why would you like to leave it after all?
Well, primarily because although we generally see stress as a negative thing, it can also have benefits.
There is such a thing as good stress. Taking risks will help you figure out your limits, discover hidden talents and develop new skills.
Successful people understand that boundaries can be an obstacle to success. They are not afraid to take risks because they know it will make them grow.
Comfort zones are usually created by limiting beliefs. Having some is natural, but living by them will negatively impact your life.
Negative people are rarely highly successful people.
If you want to change your life, try to leave your comfort zone regularly, and you will rapidly see the benefits of risks to your self-esteem.
It will also offer you new opportunities for success and growth.
Not prioritizing your health
No matter how you define success, whether you want more money, lose weight, or start a business, you will not be successful in the long run if you don’t focus on your health.
Achieving goals will take a lot of energy.
There is no way you will build a successful business, lose weight healthily or have a fulfilling social life if you don’t take care of your health.
You will need your brain to work properly, meaning you need to nourish your body, find ways to release the pressure and sleep enough.
Not making your health a priority just because you have a lot of things to do is a bad habit to break if you want to live a well-balanced life.
Sleep is key to success. Sleeping enough will help you have more energy, and be more active and productive.
To transform your life, you need to prioritize your health and sleep.
Being a perfectionist
You might ask yourself why being a perfectionist is on this list.
I have always been the most perfectionist person I know, and I must admit that I did not see it as a weakness until a few years ago.
Being a perfectionist is only a weakness when it leads you to failure; unfortunately, it will, as soon as life gets too busy.
I used to have an “all or nothing” mentality. I now realize it was a total waste of time.
If you are a perfectionist, you struggle to complete tasks because you are never satisfied.
You can spend hours on small details most people won’t even notice, trying to make things perfect as if perfection actually existed.
Perfectionists often overthink and avoid risk-taking. They work hard and always give their best at everything.
The issue with perfectionism is that trying to make everything perfect is a waste of time. If you want to succeed, you will have to let go and start getting things done more effectively.
Procrastinating is putting off intentionally and habitually tasks to be completed.
Procrastination is the biggest enemy of success.
If you procrastinate, you keep postponing even small tasks and end up not doing them or doing them at the last minute.
So many people fail at creating their ideal life because of this bad habit.
You need to break this habit to be successful in the long term.
You need to do things as soon as possible and stop postponing things because procrastination will often lead to failure.
The 2-minute rule is my favorite tip to fight against procrastination: if it takes you less than 2 minutes to complete an activity, do not plan it, do it right away.
You would be surprised to see what you can achieve in 2 minutes!
This is a simple way to ensure you get things out of your head and focus on more important tasks.
Not taking responsibility
Taking responsibility is crucial to success.
It obviously implies admitting your mistakes and taking action to fix them.
But it also means being responsible for your own life, although you cannot control everything that will happen to you.
Only you can decide how you react. And this makes all the difference between constant failure and success.
Sometimes it feels like the world is against you. However, being a victim and finding excuses is a bad habit you must quit to become a successful person.
Next time you feel upset or don’t feel like getting things done, instead of crashing on your couch, eating chocolates, ice cream, and Doritos, take time to figure out why you feel this way.
And decide that it is your responsibility to change that.
Taking responsibility will help you move on, focus on what matters to you and reach success.
Acknowledging that it is your responsibility to improve your life is key if you want to be successful.
You need to remember that your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.
Breaking bad habits is key to transforming your life.
Good and bad habits form us. If you want to create a better version of yourself, you need to be aware of your bad habits, break them and replace them with habits that support your goals.
Don’t be afraid to change your life. The only thing you should worry about is not taking action.
To create your dream life, you need to accept your reality, take responsibility for it, and start writing your own plan.
Taking these habits to break to be successful into consideration will be key to your success.
We all have the ability to do amazing things, and every day is a new chance to begin again.
All you need is goals and a clear action plan… And if you are still wondering, today is the perfect moment to write yours!
Does setting new habits and creating routines sound overwhelming to you? Do you keep failing at achieving your goals? If so, don’t worry; I got you covered!
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