Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to Break Your Bad Habits

I admit that I was somewhat surprised-- maybe even shocked-- to find instructions for breaking bad habits on … Jezebel. Link here.

I was happy to find Adam Dachis explaining a point that I found in Aristotle and that I have been trying to emphasize for quite some time: namely, that you cannot get over a bad habit unless you replace it with a good one. Self-control will not do the trick.

Dachis also emphasizes the value of shaming yourself out of  your habits. You might tell your friends about your bad habit, the better to feel that someone is watching you.

Or, if you binge eat, you can try to picture yourself in front of the refrigerator on one of your binges. You might even film yourself for later viewing.

Dachis mentions, quite correctly, that bad habits are like old friends: meaning that they come to feel like who you are. And he adds that you do them so often that you do not even have to think to do them. Thus, bad habits are difficult to break because they are familiar and because they are effortless.

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