Bad habits are one of the biggest targets for resolutions in the new year, but very prone to failure. Replacing bad habits with new behaviour can be tough, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few great tips to help.
Properly Categorise Your Bad Habit
Make Your Bad Habit a Public Affair
Take It Slow and Practise Your New Behaviour
First, change slowly. If you’re trying to stop biting your nails, commit to stop biting one nail per week but let yourself bite the others. Add a new nail each week until all 10 are off-limits. If you’re worried you’ll forget which nail, just mark it with a pen or nail polish. When you take it slowly you can ease yourself into the new behaviour and make it a lot less stressful.
Second, if you can practice the new, better behaviour then you should practice it as much as you can. This will help make the new behaviour stick much faster. While you can’t practice not biting your nails, you can practice the action of stopping yourself. As tedious and weird as this may sound, it can actually help. While your attention is split (when you’re watching TV, for example), put a finger in your mouth like you’re going to bite your nail but then take it out. Keep repeating this action with different fingers for a good while. It won’t take too long before you learn a new muscle memory: removing your fingers when you’re about to bite.
These tricks don’t just work with nail biting. They can be applied to everything. They can seem a little weird, but they can be very effective.
Got any other great advice for giving a bad habit the boot? Let’s hear it in the comments!