Easy Step by Step Actions to Help You Break Your Bad Habits
If you are wondering How to Break Bad Habits in 2020, hers is the helping hand.
As humans, we like rewards and are always on the lookout for satisfaction in everything that we do. Unfortunately, this means that trying to change something that you enjoy doing can be incredibly challenging. You will need to make the ultimate decision before you even embark on breaking your bad habits and understand that it will take sacrifice on your part.
In the beginning part of your journey to breaking your bad habits, you will more than likely be forced to deal with depression. You will be tempted to repeat your habit for one last time, but if you want to stick to the program and finally free yourself from your bad habits, you will have to be strong throughout the process.
How to Break Your Bad Habits in 4 Easy Steps
Even though breaking bad habits can be incredibly difficult, the process isn’t impossible to complete. You need to head into the process, knowing that it will be challenging, but with enough determination and persistence, you’ll be able to break your bad habits. Here are the four easy steps that you’ll need to follow if you want to permanently break bad habits.
Step #1 – Define the Habit
The first step that you need to take when breaking a bad habit is to identify the habit. Conduct an internal and external review of your life, as mentioned in Chapter 1, to determine the habits that you have in your life.
The moment you can understand and accept the habit, you will have a better chance of dealing with it. If you identify a bad habit in your life, you need to accept it, by telling yourself that you have a problem and that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to stop it.
Step #2 – Find a Replacement
The key to breaking any bad habit is finding a replacement habit. For example, say that you love watching television. Instead of expecting just to stop watching TV and being idle, you need to participate in something that you love to do and do it during the time that you could have been watching TV. If you like to read, pick up a good book that you’ve been meaning to read and get started reading. If you enjoy listening to music, start listening to it instead of flopping down on the couch and watching TV.
If you have a habit of biting your nails when you’re bored or stressed, you can replace this unhealthy habit with something else. You could buy sugar-free gum and pop a piece in your mouth every time you feel the urge to bite your nails.
Your goal when it comes to breaking bad habits is to avoid leaving a vacuum because your habit will come creeping back because you haven’t filled the void with something else. As you try to find a replacement, make sure that you don’t end up replacing the habits with something else that in turn becomes a bad habit because you’ll have to start the process over again to deal with the new, bad habit.
Step #3 – Find Your Motivation
The power that keeps us moving forward in life is motivation. If you want to overcome your bad habits, then you have to find the motivation to change your behavior. If you don’t have the motivation in your efforts to get rid of your bad habits, then you need to find one.
You can start by thinking and analyzing the good reasons why you need to break the bad habit. Use the reasons that you come up with as your motivation. For example, if you are trying to reduce how much you smoke, or want to quit altogether, you can look at how smoking negatively affects your health.
Smoking also affects those around you indirectly, which could be the motivation you need. If improving your health and the health of those around you isn’t enough for you to quit smoking, you could look at the financial impact this habit has on your life.
Consider how much money you are spending on cigarettes daily, monthly, or yearly and think about all the other things you could have spent that money on if you didn’t have the habit of smoking. If your finances are tight, you can use this as an excellent reason to stop smoking.
If money isn’t an issue for you, you might want to look at the time that you spend smoking as your reason. As an active smoker, you may be spending more than 1000 hours every year smoking. This is over 40 days a year just spent smoking. Think of what you can do in 40 days and find the motivation to quit. This is a lot of time that you could be spending on something else more productive.
Finally, look at the health issues that you could end up dealing with if you continue to smoke. Not only are the chances of succumbing to lung cancer high, but other cigarette-related diseases are among some of the top-ranked killers in the world.
Step #4 – Change Your Environment
Where you live and who you interact with on a regular basis will determine whether or not you can change your behavior. Most people head to addiction recovery clinics to help them deal with their addictions. Unfortunately, after treatment, they often go back to where they came from and start hanging out with the same people who were a part of their lives before they got help.
At first, they might be able to resist the habit and can even caution those around them about the habit. Unfortunately, the more they interact with these people, the blinder they become to the issue.
Given enough time, they give in and return to their old habits.
If you want to overcome your bad habit, then you have to change your environment and distance yourself from the people that tend to influence your choices. The hardest part of this step is that you might be forced to change your friends and your schedule.
Other Necessary Steps for Breaking Bad Habits
The steps discussed above are universal steps that are needed to overcome a bad habit. In most cases, these comprehensive steps will also require additional supplementary actions to help make them more useful. Here are some other things that you might have to do to change your habits.
Change Your Thinking
Your brain is the engine of your body, and everything that you do starts from your mind. If you want to break a habit, you have to change your thinking. Here are ways that you can change your thinking and get rid of your bad habits for good.
Commit to a Goal
While this may seem obvious, it is something that you have to do if you want to break a bad habit. You can’t merely start by wanting to break a bad habit without being sure that you really want to break the bad habit. If you want to avoid failing, then you have to commit to a goal.
Understand Your Habit
You can’t go into a battle without the knowledge of your enemy. Likewise, you have to have a full understanding of your behavior if you ever want to be successful in breaking it. Habits are patterns that have evolved because they have been rewarded.
There is a trigger that tells your brain to start the habit; then, the process is rewarded for this habit. These rewards from neurochemicals reinforce the habit loop. If you develop mechanisms that interrupt the behavior part of the loop, then you can more easily break the habit.
Assess the Context of Your Habit
If you can get to know both the emotional and situational context of the things that trigger the habit, then you can effectively determine how to break the habit. You will be able to understand better the rewards your brain is continually looking for. This will also you to develop alternative, healthier means of achieving the same rewards that the bad habit provides.
Bad habits are generally formed as a way to tackle situations that cause boredom and stress. For example, procrastination provides you with free time to engage in other activities that are more fun.
Instead, you need to find an alternative positive method to deal with your stress.
You need to be aware of what prompts the bad habit. Most habits are so every day that you aren’t really aware of them when you are doing them. You want to try and be aware of the time it happens and try to write down what is happening at the moment.
If you bite your fingernails, take a few notes of what you are feeling when you have the urge to start biting your nails. Writing down what you’ve been feeling, what’s happened, and what you’ve been thinking about will help you lay a good background on how to deal with your habit.
Make a Plan
When you know what triggers your habit, you can start to make a plan for minimizing or eliminating the habit triggers and behavior change. You should set up milestones for how to break your habit. This can help you to create new patterns of action. For example, you may decide that when you feel like smoking, you take a walk instead. It is important to remember that your plan will only work if you stick to it.
Changing Your Behavior
Another thing that you will need to do if you want to break your bad habits is to change your behavior. Changing your behavior will help to set you up on the right path to success. Here are some things that you can do to improve your behavior to help you break your habits.
Change Your Environment
When you change your environment, you will dramatically reduce the temptation that you have of going back to your bad habit. You can avoid places that you used to visit that triggered the habit; you can look into studying a vocation or break your past relationships.
Create Obstacles to the Habit
If you can create barriers that make the habit unpleasant to perform, you will successfully be able to break the bad habit. One way you can do this is by finding someone else who is trying to break the same habit and join forces with them.
If you want to stop using Facebook or Twitter during the day, you can disconnect the Internet or download an app that turns off distractions. You can also create a punishment for the habit. For instance, maybe you can add another 30 minutes of cardio exercise to your daily routine every time you overeat.
Take the process one step at a time. Don’t aim to achieve the entire goal at once because it will only lead you to failure. Instead of saying, “I will stop eating junk,” consider saying, “Today, I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast.” Continue increasing the steps, and with time, you will reach your goal.
Breaking your problem into smaller pieces can give you a positive result.
Reward Your Successes
Since your bad habits developed because of the rewards they received, you can do the same for your new, good habits. After achieving a particular goal, reward yourself immediately.
For example, if you have a terrible habit of always being late to work, you can reward yourself in some way when you arrive on time. Choose a reward that you like and repeatedly do it until the reward is no longer needed.
Breaking a habit is a challenging task. It can take years for you to achieve it. This means you have to learn to be patient. Even if a month passes without any sign of progress or success, don’t quit.
Breaking your bad habits is a complicated process. Make sure that you follow the steps outlined in this blog post and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a night, and you won’t be able to break your bad habits in a night, either.