The middle of life. A time when you’re no longer following the crowd and you really have your things together. Maybe it’s weekends away without the kids because they’re all grown up. Or, maybe it’s a good read and a glass of your favourite cocktail sitting in the sun on the balcony of your dream holiday home. Whatever the halfway house has in store for you - we are always still learning.
Learning to break a habit that we have had for years, or even decades, may feel more challenging. However, kicking a negative habit in your 40s and 50s is still very much possible. It just takes some commitment, a dash of positivity and a sprinkle of the best techniques. To get you ready and into gear, we have put together proven techniques to help you ditch your bad habit.
To deal with a bad habit and reduce its impact on our life, we must first acknowledge that the habit is detrimental to our wellbeing. When we have some years under our belt, it can be even harder to admit that we have a behaviour that needs changing. The good news is that you’re here scrolling through this post. This is a positive sign that you recognise that you have a habit to be broken.
2) Find the triggers
On many occasions, our habits become second nature to us. This is even more true for mid-lifers who have a negative habit that has been lingering for a while. When our bad habit kicks in, we often don't realise the things that cause our bad habits because it has been happening for years.
It takes realisation and a deep self-analysis to identify the triggers to bad habits in mid-lifers. Yet, mid-lifers often have the ability to analyse their actions better than younger people. Take a moment to analyse recent situations where your habit occurred and consider what made it happen at that time. These are the things we need to work on.
3) Make a plan of action
Now that you’ve sat down and seriously identified the precursors to your bad habit, you can make a plan to deal with those triggers. Your plan will be tailored to your specific triggers. For example, if your habit is getting angry at a business partner, you may have identified the trigger as your business partner not pulling their weight.
A plan to deal with this may be raising the issue calmly, delegating workloads, using meditation techniques, or asking for help – rather than raising the roof. The good news is that mid-lifers are often better at dealing with these sorts of situations and are better equipped to confront them rationally due to their past life experiences.
4) The replacement technique
Many young people struggle to break their bad habits because they don’t yet know who they are yet and what they enjoy. This isn't the case for most mid-lifers who know exactly what they want to be doing with their Saturday mornings. This makes one of the most effective techniques even more apt for 40- and 50-somethings.
The technique we’re talking about is the replacement method. If you feel like your bad habit is about to arise then you should try and replace it with something else you like doing. For example, you may hear that piece of chocolate cake whispering your name from your recliner. Instead of heading to the kitchen, head out the door to walk your favourite trail.
5) Reward yourself
If you have made small or large steps to breaking your bad habit, you need to recognise this. Rewarding yourself for making positive changes will motivate you to continue. Just make sure your reward is not a return to your habit. For example, saying you didn’t smoke this month and celebrating with a cigarette is a step back.
Get help to break bad habits
The techniques above can be used by anyone at any age. Yet, in many instances, people with life experience are in a better position to implement them. Thus, it doesn't matter if your bad habit has been around for a long time. Middle age may just be the perfect time to break them.
Following these steps and techniques can go a long way to making positive life improvements – no matter what age you are. Yet, you may want a helping hand in implementing them with an experienced professional. InspireResilliance offers personal development coaching for mid-lifers with proven results. Contact us today to find out how we can help you kick your age-old habits into touch!
Mid-lifers may find it hard to break their long-lasting habits, but with these proven techniques, it’s never too late to make a positive change.