Looking to break a bad habit? The truth is that most of us are. We all struggle with different things, and everyone has at least one habit they’d like to break.
From spending too much time browsing Facebook to unhealthy eating, we all have an Achilles heel that we struggle with. Unfortunately, though, as you know, habits can be extremely difficult to break. If you’ve ever tried to will yourself to break an especially stubborn habit, then you know that even with the best intentions it can be difficult to stay on track.
Bad habits are created and kept alive by repetition, and the reverse is also true. They can be broken with consistent repetition.
Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can get on the right track when it comes to breaking bad habits—and set yourself up for success.
1. Be Mindful of Your Habit
The first and most pivotal step in breaking a bad habit is acknowledging it. We all like to gloss over, or minimalize our bad habits, but the truth is that unless you truly see your bad habit as something that’s worthy of quitting, you’ll continue to engage in it. Avoid downplaying your habit. If you’d like to stop, it’s important to recognize it for what it is.
2. Choose Your Method
If you are feeling brave and up to the task, then you might consider taking drastic action and kicking the habit cold turkey. Spending too much time on Facebook? Deactivate your account. Eating unhealthy food? Throw it out. Don’t give yourself an option to continue with the bad habit, and instead aim to remove all temptations or triggers. If kicking it cold turkey isn’t your thing, then you could always take it slow and ease yourself off. This is often a better option, especially for those habits that require bigger life changes, and are more difficult to just get rid of.
3. Replace It With Something Else
Breaking habits successfully starts by looking to not only give up the habit in question, but by aiming to replace it with something else. Instead of removing something from your life and leaving a void, look to swap your bad habit with something good. For example, if you generally find yourself mindlessly snacking on junk food after dinner, consider having some healthy snacks on-hand, or your favorite tea, that you can enjoy instead. Look to make new, positive habits to replace those old ones.
4. Buddy Up
There is power in numbers! If you are looking to kick a bad habit, then consider teaming up with a friend. You don’t have to be kicking the same bad habit to team up. Simply having someone you can call on to help keep you focused and on-track is enough.
5. Change Your Environment
We are creatures of habit. Most of us have the same general routine for our day, and our bad habits often tend to grow out of that. If you are looking to kick a bad habit, then you might consider changing up your environment. Your surroundings can be ‘triggers’ for your bad habits. Looking to remove these triggers can save you half the battle! Consider the 20 Second Rule, the idea of ending bad habits by making them take 20 seconds longer, like moving the junk food to a higher shelf in the pantry. Sometimes, the effort of 20 seconds can help to make or break it.
While you often hear about people hitting ‘rock bottom’ before they’re willing to make a big change, it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider making positive changes in your life by taking small steps in the right direction, and start seeing results today.