As we approach the new year, the thought of new starts are on the horizon. Seize the opportunity to start 2020 by leaving behind any bad habits that may have suppressed your potential this year. The new year often brings with it a bucket load of motivation to create change in your life, which makes it a great place to start breaking any bad habits. The important thing to remember is that change is an on-going process, it doesn’t stop at the end ofJanuary! We encourage you to read on to see our top tips for breaking up with your bad habits for good.
Recognise your bad habits
The first step is to take stock of the habits that have crept into your life. Most people will have habits that will affect their work negatively, whether it be missing deadlines, chatting too much and distracting others from work, eating lunch at your desk, being late or even staying late all too often, take pen to paper and list the things you want to improve. It might be difficult to write a list straight away, take a week to take stock of your work habits and identify those activities that you believe are slowing you down.
Make a plan
In order to break a bad habit, you need a specific plan to increase your chance of quitting it for good. First of all, identify all temptations that trigger the habit. For example, if stress at work leads to procrastination rather than productivity. Or a fast approaching deadline leads to a sharp rise in caffeine consumption. Once the trigger has been identified you can plan how to manage this.
Take baby steps, going cold turkey can lead to failure. For example, if you find yourself eating lunch at your desk on a daily basis, start by going to the office canteen or to a café for lunch once a week. Aim to build this up over a month or two so that you get a break from your desk (and your emails) for at least half an hour every day. Encouraging your colleagues to do the same and logging your progress can help you stay on track.
Give yourself an incentive
Incentives undoubtedly motivate us to succeed, giving yourself something to look forward to can help if you are struggling to break abad habit. Set a goal in your plan, and if you manage to remove the bad habit allow yourself to engage in something you will look forward to. If you don’t achieve your goal, set another one for a few weeks or a month later and make sure to reward yourself when you do succeed.
Be patient with your progress
Annoyingly enough, bad habits are easier to start than good ones. This means it takes a huge amount of motivation and will power to remove the bad habit in the long term. Once you have cracked one bad habit, it will be easier to break another one. Will power should be seen as a muscle, and the more you use it, the easier it will be.
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