- Commit to Change.The first step might not seem like a step at all, but it will actually be the hardest one to do. Make sure to tell yourself that this habit WILL stop, and be ready to stop. Of course, support from family and friends can be a huge boost forward, so don’t feel shy to tell your friends, coworkers, or significant other and ask them that this is a goal you want to keep. Don’t be afraid of committing to this goal — you’ll feel terrific when you can show off your long and lovely nails!
Want to prove just how serious you are? Try signing up for a FREE account with Stickk.com or (excuse our language) Gofuckingdoit.com: These sites allow you alone (if you can be honest), or you and a friend to wager a certain amount of money toward your goal. If you can’t stop the habit of nibbling your precious nails, the money can either go directly to your friend or it can be donated to charity instead. You don’t have to have a friend to do this, although it always helps when it comes time to tell the sites whether or not you really held true to your goal.
- Simply Stop.Breaking a habit – especially a long-term habit – can be difficult. What is more difficult is when you punish yourself after you make a quick slip up. If you catch yourself biting your nails, don’t throw in the towel and reprimand yourself. Instead simply stop biting them and move forward with your day.
- Identify. Identifying why and what causes you to bite your nails is one of the most important factors of breaking this bad habit. It’s easy to begin mindlessly biting your nails, especially as they are with you no matter where you go! Maybe you bite your nails due to anxiety or boredom: make sure to pay attention to what triggers you, so if the event reoccurs you can begin associating it with not biting your nails, or perhaps a healthier habit instead (such as putting lotion on or cleaning up around the office or house).
- Practice Mindfulness. While it may seem hokey, being mindful (meaning simply being aware and in the moment) of what you are doing on a conscious level can help from escaping into unconscious habits. Not only can mindfulness help break this frustrating habit, but also it can likely help you in achieving many other future or present goals.
- Create a Good Habit. Think about it this way: if you are going to get rid of the bad, why not create some good? You don’t get rid of a closet of clothing that no longer fits to not replace it with something better, so even if your habits may not be material, the gains often appear to us as such. Treat yourself to a new habit that can help further improve your life. Take up a new hobby or enter counseling. Yoga, meditation, dance, art, learning a musical instrument, and cooking are all powerful examples of new hobbies that can give you something to do when you get bored or stressed, but open up new and wonderful life avenues. Small techniques that can be done anywhere such as practicing mindful breathing, sucking in your stomach, improving your posture or stance, or learning a language using apps on your tablet or phone can be done most anywhere and can help to make you healthier, more attractive physically and more interesting conversationally.
- At-home Manicures.When you have beautiful nails that took you a couple of hours to design, you won’t want to ruin all the hard work, will you? Of course not, and of course, you can find all the supplies you need for beautiful and unique at-home manicures on a budget at www.Holabeauty.com/nails/
- Experiment!Take the negative attention you usually give your nails, and turn it into something positive. Instead of biting, you can even go beyond simply painting your nails. Experiment with new kinds of polish such as gel and acrylic; color changing polishes, and nail decals and stickers. Look for inspiration on the web for beautiful nail art designs you’d like to try out yourself. Don’t bite, but don’t ignore your nails completely. Find some beautiful rings to run your fingers around, try new lotions and homemade hand masks.
- Apologize.It may seem odd, but apologize to your nails and hands for repeatedly damaging them instead of allowing them to grow and become strong. Ever had a stuffed animal you couldn’t part from after you named it, or a sentimental item that you kept for the memories rather than the item itself? Name your hands or nails. You can gift each of your nails an individual name or make them an extension of your hands, but by creating individual awareness for your nails you create the same effect within yourself as with the stuffed animal or sentimental objects. Increase your awareness of your nails as having their own lifespans and make it one of your goals to let them thrive and to make up for past treatment of them!
- Be Patient. Patience is key when it comes to changing long-term habits, especially with something like nails as they are life companions that travel everywhere with you (is this helping to build on Step 8?). There are many times you have probably been patient with others, so be patient with yourself too! Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake, mistakes only happen when you are making changes for the better. And always keep in mind that your new, beautiful nails will start to grow in within a couple of weeks. Mark your calendar for each day that you have succeeded in not biting your nails, and see how much closer you are to having your beautiful long nails soon!
- Imagine. Before bed, when you are in the shower, or simply when you are thinking of your progress with your nails, take some time to just relax and daydream, keeping your nails in mind. How will you keep your nails once you break your habit? Will you keep them clean and trim, or will you paint and grow them out? Maybe you will use Swarovski crystals to reflect the colors of light and catch light at night. Allow yourself to fantasize about anything, but keep in mind your nails. Imagine shaking hands with The President. Imagine your significant other or crush kneeling on one knee and placing a ring on your finger. Heck, imagine seeing an ex-classmate, partner, or friend or having your photos taken for the world to see! How do you want your nails to look during these moments (some of them life events!) of your life? Crazy great, of course!