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Changing bad habits

The other day I met up with a long-time friend of mine, who as always, was late. I asked her why this was the case and she replied, “It’s just a bad habit.”

My response? “How about creating a new and better habit of being on time?”

It made me think about how each of us is the sum of our good and bad habits.

What bad habits would you like to change?

  • Being late (like my friend)?

  • Eating too much?

  • Not exercising?

  • Staying up too late and not getting enough sleep?

  • Being unproductive, or otherwise not effectively managing your time?

Well, if you really want to change any one of these habits, here’s how:

1. You must first make a 100% commitment to your new habit.

2. Set out a plan with specific steps of how you will lose the old habit and adopt a better and healthier one. (Don’t expect instant improvement: we’re all human!)

3. Write whatever it is you want to improve on down on a card that you keep in a place where you’ll read it several times a day—or use a post-it note bang-slap on your computer where you can’t miss it. You could make it a part of your daily visualization.

4. Enlist the help of someone who will help you be accountable to your commitment.

5. Recognize and acknowledge situations that encourage your old habits, and take steps to make appropriate adjustments.

As for my friend, being late isn’t a disaster—there are more harmful, less healthy faults out there—but being routinely late gives a bad impression, especially in business!

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