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LYL Season 3, Ep. 17 – Video Games, Netflix, and Regret. Are you wasting time?

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Bad habits are hard to kick. 

Everyone thinks of bad habits like smoking, over-eating, or even picking your nose (looking at you Kyle the Intern). Most of our bad habits are small and happen without much thought or intentionality. This includes poor sleeping habits, awkward social interactions, and even chronic phone use.

We will have to be absolutely intentional about our positive habits to replace our negative habits. It’s actually easier than you think. 

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7 Ways to Turn Bad Habits Into Positive Habits

1. For each habit, identify your triggers. What situations trigger your habit (waking in the morning, having coffee, drinking alcohol, stressful meetings, going out with friends, driving, etc.)? Identify all of them, for each habit.

2. For every single trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. When you first wake in the morning, instead of focusing on your bad habit, what will you do? What about when you get stressed? When you go out with friends? Some positive habits could include: exercise, meditation, deep breathing, organizing, decluttering, and more.

3. For at least one month, focus entirely on being as consistent with your triggers as possible. That means, every single time those triggers come up, do the positive habit you identified instead of the negative one. The more consistent you are, the better the habit will form. If you sometimes do the new habit when the trigger occurs, and sometimes don’t, the new habit won’t form very well. Try to do it every single time. If for some reason you fail, extend the one-month period and try to be very consistent from that point onward.

4. Avoid some situations where you normally indulge on your bad habit, at least for awhile, to make it a bit easier on yourself. This applies to any bad habit — whether it be eating junk food or doing drugs, there are some situations you can avoid that are especially difficult for someone trying to change a bad habit. Realize, though, that when you go back to those situations, you will still get the old urges, and when that happens you should be prepared.

5. Realize that your urges will be strong, but they will go away after a few minutes. They come in waves, but just ride out the wave. Find strategies for getting through the urges — deep breathing, self massage, eating frozen grapes, walking around, exercising, calling a friend who will support you.

6. Ask for help. Get your family and friends and co-workers to support you. When you have really strong urges or a really difficult time, call on your support network for help. 

7. Staying positive is key! You will have negative thoughts — the important thing is to realize when you’re having them, and push them out of your head. Squash them like a bug! Then replace them with a positive thought. “I can do this! If Leo can do it, so can I!” 

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