Whenever I ask my clients to set personal goals, one thing that is almost always on their list is to take down a particular vice. How about you? Is there anything in particular that you are doing in your life, which you know is not good for you? Is it overeating? Drinking alcohol? Smoking? Gossiping? Negative thoughts? Or any other destructive behavior? Well, whatever it is, don’t think you’re the only person in the world doing it.
We all have a so called “dark side”, and our bad habits are a clear manifestation of it. Having a vice doesn’t make you a bad person, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to overcome it, either. In any self development seminars you may attend, you will always hear about the importance of quitting bad habits.
So, how can you go about quitting your vices? Consider these steps:
Admit that it’s your vice.
It’s important that you first acknowledge that you have a vice, or a bad habit. This is actually difficult for most of us to do, because it’s like admitting our negative traits. But if you want to set yourself free from your vice, you should first own it. After admitting to yourself that you have such a bad habit, it will be easier for you to see its negative effects on your life.
Decide to live your life without a vice.
If you want to have subconscious control (real control) over your vice, you must desire a life without it. You have to understand that you are unconsciously giving up a lot of good things in life by keeping a vice around. If you choose not to quit smoking, for instance, there are many things that will not happen in your life because of it. You have to know that life is much better without any vice, and this should be your motivation to stay away from it.
Be aware of the effects of your vice.
Stop defending your vice and ignoring its negative effects on your health and quality of life. Instead, describe how it’s been making your life less desirable. The more you become aware of how ugly the vice is, the quicker you will learn to let go of it. The moment you accept the truth about your vice, its power will start to diminish.
Tell the important people in your life about it.
With a solid support system, you’ll have a better chance at succeeding in quitting a bad habit. By telling your family and friends about your intention to quit a vice, you will make yourself accountable to others about it, which is helpful in keeping you committed to your plans.
Put your focus on your desired outcome.
Where focus goes energy flows…It is very difficult and virtually impossible to use your willpower to fight a vice. Instead of fighting the old model that requires an enormous amount of energy, you need to create a new model. Use your willpower and energy to focus on what you want and your desired outcome. You will find that is a lot easier and will also have lasting positive results.
It may seem complicated and impossible to give up a bad habit, especially if you’ve been doing it for a long time, but it’s very much doable! When you set personal goals, make it part of your life goals and imagine how good life could be without it.