How Much Are Your Habits and Addictions Costing You?

Would you like to be able to stop procrastinating, overeating, smoking or other bad habits? Are you engaging in addictive behaviours and wish you could stop these? Have you tried to change bad habits or addictions in the past using will power only to discover the change did not last? How much are these habits or addictions costing you?

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Are Your Habits Empowering?

A habit is any activity which is developed through reinforcement or repetition.  It is an ingrained behaviour we run on a regular sleeping, walking, eating, drinking, etc.

Some habits serve you well in achieving your outcomes and goals, while others can be a real distraction from what you really want to be doing.  Start observing your habits and notice if they serve you well.  Do your habits help you to stay focused on the task at hand or do they distract you?  Are you easily distracted by:

  • any opportunity that presents itself
  • new gadgets and shiny objects
  • gossip, negativity and other people’s dramas
  • spending too much time reading emails, internet surfing, social media
  • your negative self talk, insecurities, worries and fears?

A Common and Costly Habit

While there are potentially many costly habits, probably the most common one I see people have is procrastination.  Some people have mastered the art of putting off doing certain tasks, despite knowing that they will be worse off for the delay.

Research has shown that around 15% to 20% of adults regularly put off activities that would be better done right away; around 40% of people have experienced a financial loss as a result of procrastination; and procrastinators have higher stress levels and more severe health problems than people who act right away.

Think about all of the activities you have put off recently, for example:

  •    writing reports
  •    doing presentations
  •    making phone calls
  •    networking
  •    going for an interview
  •    applying for a promotion
  •    doing on a date
  •    having a difficult conversation
  •    pursuing your goals and dreams, etc.

Now think about how much your procrastination has cost you in lost time, money, stress, frustration, unhappiness, etc.

For example, a business owner with three retail outlets sought help.  He admitted “I am the biggest procrastinator” and kept putting off a key business decision.  He calculated that this procrastination cost him $10,000 per month plus much financial and emotional stress.  While he knew that, he still procrastinated about the decision.  Once he addressed the deep issues causing the procrastination, he made the key business decision he had been delaying and he saved $120,000 each year, dramatically reduced his stress levels and freed up his focus and energy to grow his business.

Addictions versus Habits

While some of our habits can serve us, most addictions have adverse effects.  An addiction results from a person using a substance (e.g. chocolate, alcohol, food, etc.) or engaging in an activity (e.g. shopping, social media, online games, etc.) that can be pleasurable.  However, the continuation of these then becomes compulsive and interferes with everyday activities, work, relationships, health, etc.

People who have developed an addiction may be unaware that their behaviour is out of control, and is causing problems for themselves and others.

What Lies Beneath?

Beneath every disempowering habit and addiction are deeper issues that are causing the habit and addiction to continue; these have the person run the same habits and addictions over and over. Accurately identifying and addressing ALL the deeper issues permanently and quickly at a subconscious level is the key to successfully stopping these.

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