Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Going Cold Turkey

Bad habits are hard to escape. Try to quit them cold turkey and you’re more likely to prolong the addiction.

When it comes to stopping habits, choose a gradual approach rather than a big bang.

Instead of having three glasses of wine each night, try having two and then one a night for a week or so. Instead of sitting all day, try standing for a working session until your feet get used to it. Instead of wasting time using social apps, use them only on mobile browsers to avoid the addictive functionality of the native app.

And then accelerate the program with a cue. Replace every habit with a positive substitute. For example, replace the urge for another glass of wine with three glasses of water. Set a clock for yourself that reminds you to stand up every 45-50 minutes. Redownload the social networking apps when you really need to use them.

When you’re changing habits, you can expect failures and relapses along the way. But think long-term, continuing to practice the replacement habits.

Taking baby steps and experimenting to see what works for you is the key to achieving anything.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.