Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Habit Hoarders

I tune in to many shows on A&E during the week, but Hoarders is not one of them. I just can not get into the whole being dirty and stinky---on purpose and then crying about thing. However for the past few weeks, they have been advertising the new season's premiere, as being the worst ever! Someone even threatened to call the health department! However luring the clip of the season premiere may seem, I still think filthy grownups is just too much for me.

(Disclaimer: As a former mental health professional, I am sensitive to the clinical aspects of hoarding. It is dirty and stinky nonetheless.)

So as I was viewing the clip of the season premiere of Hoarders, for the 100th time, I started thinking about Habit Hoarders. A Habit Hoarder is someone that stores a substantial supply of habits. The habits are most often negative and the hoarder usually admits that the habit should be replaced, however they hang on to them. Just like those who hoard food, clothes, or newspapers, people who hoard habits hang on to them for comfort. Things that are familiar bring a sense of comfort. To break a bad habit, you must delve into the unfamiliar. You must let go of your supply of bad habits and replace them with good ones.

If you store bad habits, you are a Habit Hoarder. If you have been saying that you were going to stop doing something and have yet to stop it, you are a Habit Hoarder. If you hang on to old habits in the unlikely case that they may be of good use to you one day, you are a Habit Hoarder. But---that can change, if you change it!

Here are a few strategies that will help you get rid of those bad habits once an for all:

The Switch. The most fool proof way to get rid of a bad habit is to switch or replace it with a new one. That sounds simple because it is. If you want to stop the bad habit of smoking a cigarette to relieve stress, switch to listening to music instead.

Reward or Punishment. Everyone likes to be rewarded for good behavior and no one likes to be punished for bad. To break your bad habit use a reward or punishment system. Set up a system that gives you rewards of substance. Stay away from rewarding yourself would food or clothing because that may lead to the introduction of new bad habits. If the reward system isn't a big enough incentive, include a system of punishment. For example, if you make the decision to re-engage in a bad habit one day, you can punish yourself by abstaining from your favorite television show that night.

All or Nothing Emphasis. You either want to break your bad habit or you don't. There is no such thing as eating a little too much. If you want to break the bad habit of overeating, you can't decide to eat a restrictive diet all week and then eat whatever you want on the weekend. That type of strategy will not get you results. Instead of having a bad habit of over-eating all week, you will have a bad habit of overeating on the weekends. To break a bad habit, you must go all the way!
Those are three simple strategies that will get you results!

To Blog...Nakeia

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