We all have bad habits, and many of them can really hold us back professionally — like arriving late to meetings or avoiding follow up calls calling. These habits can negatively affect any female entrepreneur’s reputation and working relationships, so it’s important to cut them out of our lives. It can be difficult to break bad habits, but following these steps can give you a solid chance of kicking them to the curb.
Break a Bad Habit Cycle
Many Fab Fempreneurs have a lot on their minds — like running a business, raising a family, or staying in shape. We may think about some of our behavior as bad habits, but it’s often just a passing thought between other tasks. Sometimes the hardest part of breaking bad habits is even noticing your behavior in the first place. This is why many people wear a rubber band around their wrist to help them break bad habits. They snap the rubber band when they notice themselves practicing bad behavior, and the slight pain forces them to stop and take notice. Habits are something we do without thinking — like chewing on a pen cap or taking multitasking too far — so realizing you have a bad habit, and noticing the moment it occurs is key to breaking a bad habit cycle.
Understand the Habit
Women business owners don’t just wake up one day with a bad habit: it develops over time as a way to adapt to constantly being pulled in many different directions. The second key to breaking a bad habit is to analyze why you have the habit. For example, if you catch yourself checking emails during meetings, try to understand what is compelling you in this action. Maybe you didn’t leave yourself enough time in the day to keep up with emails, or you haven’t communicated to your colleagues or other clients that you won’t be available to respond to emails while you’re in the meeting. Or, perhaps you feel the need to check frequently, and might benefit from allotting specific times during the day to check email. Try to notice both the circumstances surrounding the habit as well as how you feel when you do it. Maybe you feel that you absolutely must answer every client email as it comes through out of fear that your client will think negatively of you otherwise. To break bad habits, it can really help to dig deep into the reasons they develop, so you can set yourself up for success in the future. You may want to create a short auto responder for when you are in meetings so that clients understand that you will respond to them as soon as you are available.
Exchange the Bad for the Good
Breaking bad habits takes time and persistence. Instead of mentally scolding yourself every time you catch yourself in a bad habit, try replacing it with a good habit. If you find that you head to the snack drawer in your desk every day for an afternoon snack, try having an apple or some trail mix to eat instead. Studies show positive reinforcement works better than negative, so give yourself something to feel good about, instead of focusing on the bad habits you try to kick.
Breaking bad habits can be frustrating, but stick with it! It’s worth it, especially when you replace them with a good habit. If you’re having trouble breaking bad habits, consider joining a Mastermind Group to meet some other Fab Fempreneurs who are working on kicking theirs!
I’m also pleased to announce that I am offering all Fab Fempreneurs the opportunity to download my latest ebook for a fab price! How to be a Fab Fempreneur and Make Your Business Boom is filled with the 4 must-have areas for a business breakthrough AND 7 questions every fempreneur must ask herself to take her business to the next level.