The statement, “old habits die hard” is one that most are familiar with. It is the understanding that the habitual tendencies you have, will take some time to rewrite, overcome, and change permanently. The truth is, we all have habits that we have either successfully broken or are trying to break. The only obstacle is the in-between, the journey to overcoming the habit.
Yet, we know that it is a lot harder than simply deciding, because had it been that simple, most of us would have by now quit the toxic dating habits, the smoking, the self-destructive nuances and we would be embracing our newfound wisdom.
The question is, what happens when you know better, but are not doing better?
Operating from a place of not knowing is easy because there is no constant reminder that you ought not to be doing this. Knowing is different because you actively have to push past the knowledge and choose the thing that works against you.
This blog piece is not to berate you, but to help you.
Here are 3 ways to help you overcome old habits
In order to overcome anything, you will have to first and foremost be honest with yourself. Sweeping matters under the rug and playing pretense is a sure way to find yourself in the cycle of repetition. There is power in acknowledging the areas in which you fall short.
You must first find comfort in your truth and actively acknowledge it.
If you find yourself having depressive episodes, binge eating when in an emotional state, dating men who treat you terribly, craving validation from people, occupying spaces that don’t welcome you, ignoring your mental and physical health, not applying to opportunities due to fear or hanging on to people and places you have long since outgrown, then you have to hit PAUSE.
Take a moment to acknowledge the areas that make you unhappy in your life and admit that they do.
You can only overcome that which you are willing to admit exists.
2. Have an accountability matrix
Finding yourself in a state of honesty takes a great deal of courage and strength. It is often easier to run from yourself than look yourself in the mirror. Admitting your flaws, faults and shortcomings is not an easy task, but it is worthwhile. See this admission as getting to know yourself, using the opportunity to delve deeper into who you are, and understanding what lies beneath the surface.
Accountability looks different to everyone and is largely dependent on the habit you are trying to break. For some it may be seeing a therapist to work through depression, for another, it may be openly speaking about your struggles to a friend and for another, it may be journaling and putting all the thoughts on paper.
Accountability is to act as a mind map, to be able to pinpoint the origins of the problem, trace it back to the present, and map out how to overcome it.
What matters most, is taking the first steps to overcoming.
3. Reward yourself
In the journey of overcoming old habits, have need to have indicators of success, and reward yourself. This will act to incentivize your journey and will encourage you to move forward.
For every time you show up to your therapist, treat yourself to ice cream afterward.
For every time you show up to the gym 4 times per week, treat yourself to your favorite chocolate.
For every time you stop a potentially toxic romantic relationship from moving forward, treat yourself to a lone date.
The idea is to have fun in the process of overcoming. You may fall, but it’s never about how many times you fall, but rather how many times you get up.
Bonus: I too am in the process of overcoming old habits, and today I woke up feeling weary because I felt myself slipping into old places. However, I got up to write this blog as a memoir and reminder to myself, that I am always in control. I am at the helm of this ship, and I have the power to steer it in whichever direction I please. I choose self, every single day. Meaning I choose better because I know better.
From One Powerhouse to another
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LinkedIn: Mavis Braga Elias