Swearing it off



This week, I tried to quit swearing. I’d say my foul mouth is one of my worst qualities. I don’t know at what point I started dropping swears into sentences like commas, but I know I need to put a lid on it or else it’s going to come back to bite me in the…well, you know.

My plan was to put a dime in a swear jar every time I swore for a week. Even with restraint, my tally was 17 on the first day. I did a little better on the second day, but by the end, I had basically given up trying to count out of frustration. After three days, I had dropped the whole quitting aspect and said I would just settle for swearing less. That still didn’t really amount to much.

Quitting an engrained, reflexive habit is hard. But to be professional, I know I have to learn to express myself in a less offensive way. I wouldn’t want to ruin my personal brand because I can’t stop swearing — even if women who love to curse seem really funny in BuzzFeed videos (#relatable).

Like most Type A people, setting goals gives me a sad amount of pleasure. I went into the swear jar thing without enough dimes, without a goal and without an execution plan or strategy. No wonder it didn’t work.

Habits are like ruts in a road. It takes some serious effort to unearth them and change them, but once there are fresh ones established, it’s a smoother ride.

With all this in mind, I’m setting a goal to swear only 10 times a day by 2016. This may still seem like a lot, but believe me, this would be a drastic improvement at this point. I’m declaring it here and to my classmates and family, because I need to be held accountable for my swearing. This is a SMART goal, which stands for specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

We all have something to tackle. A swear jar may not be the best way to break our vices, but SMART goals might do the trick.

Raegan Hedley is a sassy millennial who aspires to someday become a kick-ass business professional. In the meantime, she writes on her blog at raegjules.com and tweets way too much (@raegjules).