Bad habits are like mosquitos, once you’re aware it’s bitten you, the itch has set it in. Unlike mosquitos, no amount of Hydro Cortisol will help (Bummer!). Chances are you can readily list some examples of habits that get in the way of achieving your goals.
Examples of Negative Habits Common to Creatives
- Writer’s Block / Artist’s Block / Creative Block
- Too many ideas / to little application
- Disorganized, scattered, unfocused
- Dramas /Emotional highs and lows
- Procrastination / trouble starting
- Non-finisher / numerous projects incomplete
So how do you go about breaking the bad habits that don’t serve you?
Breaking Bad Habits
We used to watch Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisper, regularly. Cesar would never try and “change” a dog’s behavior before exercising him. He would walk him around the block or put on his roller blades and have the dog run and pull him on the skates. This allowed the dog to direct his/her pent-up energy into something forward moving.
Only after the dog was tired would Cesar start building new skills and behaviors.
You can see that cool video clip below. It’s clear that the pit bull is happy to be working hard pulling Cesar around. In most cases, Cesar did not force the dog into submission through any insane measures. Most dogs act out because they are not properly exercised, trained and disciplined, and in that order. What do they do? They turn to destructive habits that ruin things.
Sound familiar? Okay, so you’re not attacking a nice pair of shoes, but you’re sure to have habits that don’t help you. We all do.
Habits either help us or harm us. Choose yours carefully.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com
We should challenge the phrase “breaking” bad habits. Breaking implies both pain and fight. Subconscious habits, utilize the lizard brain. Pain and fight engage the flight mode of the medulla oblongata, which lives poised and ready to react to anything that interrupts your comfort zone. We’re wired to resist threat, so we’re subconsciously signaling to our bodies that a new pattern is not good. Without ever consciously thinking or implying that!
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.”
Instead, what if we were to approach habits the way Cesar trains dogs. Redirecting our energy into positive momentum tasks as opposed to fighting our own human nature. Developing a new skill sounds far more interesting and productive than all the energy trying to force yourself to stop habits you’ve been doing for years.
You can teach old dogs new tricks when they’re in the right frame of mind. Same for you. Getting in the right state of mind makes all the difference, and it’s easier to get there when you use your energy to redirect rather than wrestle yourself with force.
Redirection of energy is an Aikido move. If you’re struggling with health and weight loss issues, you may enjoy this article on how to easily replace bad habits with good ones.
“Learning skills that improve your life is the way you unlearn habits that ruin your life.”
~ Devani Anjali Alderson; www.iCreateDaily.com
4 Examples of Habits and Habit Replacement
1. Bad Habit: Watching TV shows for hours after the end of a workday.
Positive Skill: Turning on an audio or video podcast while doing a 30-minute workout. Involve others in your household if you want/can, and make it a new positive activity. Here are some easy at home workouts if you’re unsure where to start.
2. Bad Habit: Scrolling mindlessly through social media or watching YouTube videos that don’t develop you or your craft.
Positive Skill: Watching a tutorial or reading an article that improves a business or craft skill, and then implementing that for your creative brand.
3. Bad Habit: Being unorganized and rushing to do important tasks last minute. Which makes you feel constantly frazzled and/or late in meeting others or your own deadlines.
Positive Skill: Developing a daily goal writing habit that keeps you focused and on track. You will be able to arrive in each day focused and prepared and better able to accomplish your work on time.
4. Bad Habit: Endlessly Chatting/Texting about nonsense that doesn’t help move you towards your goals or dreams. These conversations generally being with: “sup”, “what’s up”, or “wyd?” (what ya doin’).
Positive Skill: Using your “chat” time to engage your community through your social channels. There’s immense value in doing so. Not only do most people who join your communities want to connect with you and other people, but these groups and pages also provide wonderful “market data” on the pulse of your tribe.
“Can’t” is a myth. You can teach old dogs new tricks.”
~Devani Alderson, iCreateDaily.com
A Simple Way to Unlearn a Bad Habit
Learning something new gives us a sense of accomplishment, a win we can feel proud of, and a new skill. We feel better and our life starts changing for the better in increments that build over time.
We don’t always like confronting our habits or qualities that hinder us, but if we can view this journey as learning a new skill, you might embrace change from a whole new point of view. One where you enjoy your progress and aren’t fighting yourself each step of the way.
There will be days that are harder, that’s what makes it worth it. But we’re far more inclined to stick to things we like doing than change behaviors we keep telling ourselves is hard to break out of.
“Choose addictive behaviors that serve you rather than destroy you.”
~LeAura Alderson; www.iCreateDaily.com
Start. Sustain. Succeed!
Hey! I’m Devani, a multi-passionate creator who enjoys honing the craft of writing (mostly;)), photography, cooking, podcasting, learning about business, and growing brands. I co-host the iCreateDaily Podcast with LeAura Alderson (my mom), and co-own the iCreateDaily brand. I hope through the content and products we produce, you will be inspired to start, sustain, and succeed in your goals.
My non-business and artistic hobbies include: enjoying a good movie, discovering obscure but epic music, obsessing over The Beatles, and developing fictional stories in my head. My Maltese dog, Caspian, provides an insane amount of creative inspiration by just being his adorable self. #HeWokeUpLikeThat. 😉
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