When we are stuck in a bad habit, we have to replace it with a good one in order to get away from it. Just stopping the bad thing isn’t enough. It creates a void, an emptiness, in us. There is a hole in your day that used to be filled with that thing you did that wasn’t great for you. If you don’t fill it with a good habit, then not only will the bad habit come back, but it will come back stronger and worse.
Jesus says in Luke 11:24-26 (ASV)
24 The unclean spirit when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and finding none, he saith, I will turn back unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more evil than himself; and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first.
Lao Tzu said that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I like the translation that says “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath your feet.” You have to walk away from your bad habits, and often actually walking is the best thing you can do. Know that just wanting to get away from your bad habit can be the first step. Knowing that can help you get over your inertia.
Bad habits can range from additions to simply undesired behaviors. Drinking too much, gambling, overeating, overspending, wasting time on TV or the computer – the list is endless. Whatever you do that you feel takes you away from actually living life is an undesired behavior. When you identify it, then you have to find something else you can put in its place.
Exercise, reading an educational book, volunteering, or working towards a life goal are all good substitutes. Find something to fill that hole with or it will get filled on its own.