Want to End a Bad Habit? Stock Up on Post-Its
by Jane Moore on Mar 23, 2017
Bad habits are extremely difficult to break. More than 40% of people say that it would take a near-death experience to eliminate their bad habits, while 30% say a loved one’s ultimatum would trigger them to make a change. Even if you’re willing to improve your life without a drastic occurrence or a push from someone you love, you may struggle to do so. Your habit may be ingrained in your daily routine to the point where you don’t even realize what’s happening — or, in serious cases, may be intertwined with a larger issue such as addiction or infidelity, which you’re working to overcome — and it’s not like you can have someone follow you around all day to point out your actions. If you want to break bad habits that occur regularly, read on to learn how post-it notes may help.
Some Bad Habits Are Automated
We briefly mentioned above how some habits can become part of your daily routine to the point where you don’t consciously notice when they occur. When this happens, it’s difficult to break bad habits, because you can’t stop doing something if you don’t even notice you’re doing it. Post-It notes serve as a reminder to pause and think about what you’re doing.
Here are some examples of places where you can display post-it notes:
Bottles of alcohol or soda
Tubs of ice cream
Bags of candy or potato chips
The steering wheel or dashboard of your vehicle
The side of your laptop or desktop monitor
Your smartphone or iPad
Place a post-it where you typically engage in bad behaviors. If you find it difficult not to gossip with your coworker or argue with your boss, display sticky notes near your workspace. If you’re one of the many Americans who consider eating junk food a bad habit, leave notes in your fridge or pantry, or place them on specific foods that you crave. Place a note on your steering wheel to remind yourself to avoid yelling at other drivers during your commute or visiting a place that you know you shouldn’t.
Keep It Simple
Post-its come in approximately 30 different sizes, but as a general rule, they aren’t very big. You have limited space to write yourself a note, so now isn’t the time for 5 paragraphs about your weight loss goals or a heartfelt story about how smoking cessation might benefit you. Keep each message short and sweet, and get to the point.
Other people may see your Post-Its, which can embarrass you if you’re a private person. For that reason, you may want to leave them blank or choose a message that doesn’t reveal your intentions. A short sentence, like, “You’ve got this!” or, “Remember your goal!” reminds your brain to break bad habits without sharing your vices with the world. You can also write a word like “vacation” if your goal is to look good in a swimsuit for your beach cruise, or “calm” if you’re working on using less profanity.
Avoid notes like, “Put the chips down, fatty,” or, “Stop being a jerk at work.” Negativity can impact your self-esteem, and it’s difficult to break a bad habit if you feel awful about yourself. You already know that your habit isn’t ideal, which is why you’re taking steps to change your life. There’s no need to dwell on your shortcomings and obsess about how you should have made different choices.
Be realistic, though, and write notes in your own voice. Notes that are overly positive, such as, “You’re an amazing, gorgeous, wonderful human being! You can do anything you put your mind to because you are awesome!” may make you uncomfortable. Keep your personal comfort level in mind as you draft your short notes, and write things that you’ll actually want to read.
When you attempt to discontinue a bad habit, you may find it hard to remember your goals. Create a visible reminder by placing post-its with short, simple phrases in prominent locations.
Image Credit: Pixabay