Are you in love with bad things?

May 25, 2024

You may love it, but you know it’s bad for you. And now it’s becoming routine. A bad habit is something that we do that is detrimental to our health, happiness, & possibly prosperity. A bad habit is something we do that we wish we didn’t or know we shouldn’t. It’s essentially our tendencies or things that we do consistently and persistently. Some habits are GOOD, like showering and brushing your teeth. Some habits are BAD, like biting your nails or procrastinating. And some are downright DANGEROUS, like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. But quitting is easier said than done.

Interestingly, some habits you think are ‘good’ aren’t like drinking water. If you drink from plastic water bottles, the chemicals (phthalates) can leach into the water and disrupt hormone levels. Buying a filter-adapted bottle could be beneficial in the long run.

Quitting alcohol and drinking mocktails is another. Mocktails are often high in refined sugar, which can be as damaging and addictive as alcohol. Make sure you stick to mocktails made from soda water, lemon and lime juice, and splashes of pure fruit juices. Another is eating low-fat. Cutting out ‘good’ fats like omega-3 fatty acids could harm your health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, help to keep skin supple and wrinkle-free, are good for brain and heart health, and can help prevent arthritis.

So, here’s the thing. Some habits are just bad and dangerous. Period. And if you’ve got a bad habit, I know probably with a high degree of certainty that you’ve tried to stop at some point. You tell everybody, “Hey, I’m quitting smoking.” Then 24 hours later, you’re saying, “Quit? I said cut back!”

I used to have an incredibly dangerous habit. I was crazy addicted to smokeless tobacco (aka dip). I dipped from when I was 18 years old until nine years ago. I was crazy addicted to two cans a day, and I couldn’t imagine my life without nicotine. But I was able to break the habit and quit successfully! I also quit alcohol and experienced surprising changes, which you can hear about by clicking:

And so today, I thought I’d share the steps that I took in hopes of helping you kick your bad habit, too. Now, my bad habit was something physically addictive — nicotine. Your habit may be a substance, too, but it might be something that you do that you wish you wouldn’t or you wish you could stop. Either way, these steps will help you stop ANY TYPE of bad habit.

IDENTIFY YOUR BAD HABIT because once you know it’s bad, you can do something about it.

DECIDE IT IS TIME TO QUIT for you and nobody else but you. When I was using smokeless tobacco, everybody would tell me how horrible it was. My mom would nag me and send me pictures of people with mouth cancer. It didn’t matter. I was like, “Whatever, that sucks!” and I knew that eventually, I would get mouth cancer because I’m not that ‘lucky guy’ and always learned things the hard way. So I was rolling the dice and knew it was just a matter of time. It wasn’t until I decided FOR ME that I didn’t want to die from mouth cancer that I did something about it. Until you’re quitting for yourself, it’s never going to stick.

VISUALIZE YOUR LIFE WITHOUT THE BAD HABIT For me, this was incredibly important. I needed to visualize myself not using nicotine because, for almost 20 years, I was using it every day (even multiple times a day). So, for me, it was part of my daily routine. I did it first thing when I woke up until right before bed. I did it ALL. THE. TIME. I needed to take time and visualize how my life would look, not reaching for that tobacco.

CREATE AN ACTION PLAN, and then start! An action plan isn’t like, “I think I’m just gonna…” No, you need to have a plan. I don’t know what your action plan looks like, but you definitely need to create one. For me, my action plan was:

(a) pick the day,
(b) get all the things needed to be successful, such as the patch and a supplement called GABA (help me to chill out),
(c) get rid of all evidence that I ever used tobacco.

IDENTIFY TRIGGERS & REMOVE THEM from your life. One of my biggest triggers was alcohol, specifically beer. So, for six months, while I was in the quitting process, I gave up drinking 100% percent. That meant I didn’t go out because, at the time, I didn’t want to go out and not drink. I knew that alcohol, bars, drinking, and socializing were triggers, and I removed them from my life.

START A NEW HOBBY, which was deciding to get in even better shape than I was already. I needed to do something to take my mind off of it, and exercise really helped with the cravings. Picking up a hobby that’s productive and beneficial is definitely going to help.

ASK SOMEONE TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE This is a double-edged sword because if you’ve ever tried to quit something before, you know that the first thing you do is tell the world. But you must have ONE loved one, friend, or spouse hold you accountable. Let that person know what you’re trying to do and tell him/her how to handle you. A lot of times, it boils down to encouragement, but accountability is something that’s also incredibly important.

KEEP ON KEEPING ON because I still crave it occasionally to this day. I’ll see it on the ground or somebody doing it, and my bad habit that has been hardwired into my brain still comes out. I want to do it, BUT I don’t because I know I’m going right back as soon as I do it that once.

We are all in love with bad things — bad habits we must stop. Perhaps you bite your nails, overeat or consume junk food, don’t exercise, have a sex addiction, or are addicted to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs … the list goes on. Whatever your bad habit, if you are willing or want to quit, YOU CAN DO IT! But until it’s for YOU, you’re never going to stop. And if it’s something that you need professional help with, please seek that professional help.

Unfortunately, kicking a bad habit is not simple. Fortunately, these steps helped me, so it’s time for them to help you kick yours, too! Quitting a bad habit is a gift that you give yourself. It’s not for anybody else — it’s for you. Your life will be much better, more fulfilling, and more rewarding when your bad habit is out of your system… and out of your life!

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