Habits run our daily life. Pretty much everything you do is based on a habit you’ve developed at some point in your life.
Some habits are helpful, while others can also work against you. Even worse – there are a few “bad habits” that can have a negative, long-term impact on your capacity to live a fulfilling life.
Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They jeopardize your health — both mentally and physically. And they waste your time and energy.
Recognizing the causes of your bad habits is crucial to overcoming them.
You don’t eliminate a bad habit, you replace it.
All of the habits that you have right now — good or bad — are in your life for a reason. In some way, these behaviors provide a benefit to you, even if they are bad for you in other ways.
Fortunately, it is possible to eliminate a negative routine – all you need is a plan-of-action.
First. Identify the Habit Routine
All habits have actions and thoughts that occur beforehand. The cue is the trigger that creates a craving to get a reward. The routine is the action you take to satisfy this impulse. The reward is the satisfaction you feel from following this routine or it’s the removal of stress that the cue created.
Here’s a simple way to start: just track how many times per day your bad habit happens. Put a piece of paper in your pocket and a pen. Each time your bad habit happens, mark it down on your paper. At the end of the day, count up all of the tally marks and see what your total is.
In the beginning your goal isn’t to judge yourself or feel guilty about doing something unhealthy or unproductive. The only goal is to be aware of when it happens and how often it happens. Wrap your head around the problem by being aware of it. Then, you can start to implement the ideas in this article and break your bad habit.
Breaking bad habits takes time and effort, but mostly it takes perseverance. Most people who end up breaking their bad habits try and fail multiple times before they make it work. You might not have success right away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it at all.
Just remember that changing bad habits requires a daily commitment. Work hard to stay focused, but don’t agonize over every failure. The important thing is to keep at it and learn from each impulse or trigger.
Why are bad habits so hard to break?
What causes bad habits?
How to break a bad habit
What can we do?
Where to go from here
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