Building great habits means removing bad ones first 

I posted an article recently that I was quite proud of. It was titled, “How to get into the habit of creating good habits.”

I was proud of this piece because it was useful advice to help people achieve the results they’ve always dreamed about achieving but couldn’t. It would help, hopefully, kick-start their discipline towards shaping a better them as it did for me personally. It teaches the idea that if you spend time every day towards building better habits, no matter how small your efforts may be, you’re still making progress towards the results you want. It’s about getting started than not having at all.

A lot of people found this piece of advice useful.

However, recently, a friend reached out to me with a different perspective that made sense but was drastically different than mine.

He said that to him, it was better to focus on quitting bad habits rather than working towards new ones.

Curious to know more about his thoughts, we talked about it more.

“I feel like I don’t have the time or the energy to add new habits. Working on changing bad habits is easier for me because when those habits are changed, I’ll have more time and it’ll be easier to add new ones. At this point though, it’s going to be hard to add any new habits without feeling overwhelmed.”

And he’s right. It’s a different perspective entirely but one that suits his lifestyle.

I understand we all want to change and have different opinions on how to do so. Some of us might prefer to take on more than what we can handle, while others improve best by reducing their focus to the more important stuff. But if you’re someone who often overwhelms yourself because you try to add as many good habits as you can, you should instead focus on how you should minimize your bad habits.

Instead of forcing yourself to take up running, maybe it’s better to quit the chips first.

Instead of trying to wake up so you’d have more time, maybe you should work on reducing the amount of time you lose to browsing Facebook and Instagram first.

Instead of working harder, maybe you should cut down on the small, unimportant tasks first.

Our ability to focus is limited, as is our time. If we overwhelm ourselves with more things than we can handle, we lose focus, we lose time and will have virtually achieved nothing.

But if we are to build better habits and achieve the results we desire, we need to first cut back on the habits that drag us down.

Published by Tiffany Sun

I’m rebuilding my life by discovering who I am and what I’m capable of after being cast away and stranded in China.

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