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Sabotaging My Success

Dear Coach,

I’ve been trying to complete my goals for years. I think the problem is that I have horrible habits. I try to commit to doing better but I just don’t follow through. I need help.

— Sabotaging My Success

Dear Sabotaging My Success,

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated and tend to occur subconsciously or instinctively. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioral patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways. Have you ever heard the saying, “We are creatures of habit.”? It’s true. It is our nature. A resistance to change is a natural defense. It’s our human way of risk management. You can be motivated to change and emotionally resist at the same time. According to our poll, here are the top 10 worst habits ... although we all have our own list.

Top 10 Worst Habits

1. Gossiping

2. Over spending

3. Poor time management

4. Over eating or eating unhealthy foods

5. Excessive TV, Internet, social media or games

6. Smoking

7. Drinking

8. Cursing

9. Nail Biting

10. Negative Thinking

“Any hope of sustained change begins with discovery.” - Tammy Holyfield

Why we form Bad Habits?

If you think about it, habits are relatively simple to develop. Look at all the habits you don’t like. Now let me ask you, did you have to work hard at developing the habit of overeating or watching too much TV, checking Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets, sleeping too much, or smoking? Of course not. You just did it long enough, through repetition, until it became a habit.

Why did you keep doing it though?

If you examine your undesirable habits closely, you will find that they all have something in common. They all give you some type of feeling that is rewarding to you. Why do people spend hours watching mindless television? Why do people smoke? They do it because it gives them a certain feeling, in some cases, relaxation, stress reduction, or even excitement. You see, we’re not addicted to the actual activity. What we’re addicted to is the feeling that activity gives us. Just think of any habit you have that you find undesirable. What positive feelings does it give you? Know that you’re getting a “reward” for those bad habits, that’s why you continue doing it. We don’t do things habitually that makes us feel bad, at least not at the moment that we’re engaged in doing it.

The 5 Steps to Developing Better Habits

1. Begin with discovery. We suggest a “Habit Inventory”

2. Define the feeling associated with the Habit

3. Develop strong enough reasons why you want to replace the bad with good habits.

4. Educate yourself. Know what it really takes to form or change the habit.

5. Repeat until it becomes a Habit. Continue on the stairs until you reach the escalator.

In other words, work at it until it becomes natural.

From the Coach:

Only thinking about today will steal your future. Successful people delay gratification while working on the life of their dreams.

Ask Yourself:

Are the things that I am doing consistently today, my actions and activities producing the future I want?

What are the things I need to stop doing?

What are the things I need to begin or continue?

Tammy Holyfield is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker and Founder of Holyfield International, a business and personal development company. Her mission is to teach, empower and equip people to live their best life everyday. Tammy teaches techniques and strategies that are easy to understand and put to use immediately to achieve greater results. Connect with Tammy on LinkedIn at or email her

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