How to break a bad habit?
Awareness and causes
The first step to breaking a habit is to be aware that you have it and to what extent you have it. Knowing the extent of how the habit has captured you will make you want to pull the plug off the habit even more and as soon as possible.
Determine your triggers
Once you are aware of your habits, the next step for you is to determine what triggers that habit. For example, being stressed triggers your want to smoke, or being around friends who drink makes you want to drink too even if you know you had a drink just last night. Once you have determined your triggers, now you can avoid those triggers by not going to the party which makes you want to drink more. Obviously, you can’t’ avoid it all the time, but we have a solution for times like those too, keep reading!
Commitment and Planning
Committing is the easiest thing you must say as you might have committed to quitting that habit a million times but are still deep down that pool of mud! But when you say that, think just once, is it actually that easy? Were you actually doing it the right way? Were you actually committed or was it just another statement that you made. Once you’ve got your answers make a commitment and stick to it. How to do you stick to it? Easy, make a plan, a plan that is practically possible and follow it religiously.
Stay kind to yourself
Most people fail a few times before they actually make it to breaking the bad habit. Just like that, it’s okay for you to fail too! Stop blaming and complaining for all the times you’ve failed in breaking off that habit in one go. Failing is just another staircase to success, so allow yourself a little room of forgiveness. We should take our failures as a ray of hope that will make us a better person.
In your mind keep visualising scenarios where ‘you are tempted to choose the bad habit but you avoid it and choose the better option’. Imagine how awesome life would be without that bad habit you’ve been trying to break for a very long time. These visualisations help to reinforce positive behaviour inculcating good habits.
Choose a substitute
You need to have a plan ahead of time for how will you respond when you come across something that prompts your bad habit. Choose a substitute habit that will impact your life in a good way. For example, when you are tempted to go on social media, write one sentence for work. This way you can improve your life for better, creating better habits on the go.
Surround yourself with people who will call you out every time you slip. Or better, start this journey with someone who’s also trying to break the same habit so that you can call out on each other and celebrate success together. You can also keep small punishments for yourself like every time you eat something unhealthy, put some (pre-decided) money in the jar (you can use this money later to reward yourself on success) or add 15 minutes extra to your workout routine.
Review of relapse
Keep reviewing every time you relapsed, the triggers for your relapse and how you could’ve avoided it. This way you will always know where you are lacking and how you can work on making yourself better.
the one mistake that we all make is making unrealistic goals. Unrealistic goals will soon make us feel that it’s impossible (which obviously is not) to quit that bad habit. What most of the time we don’t realise is that habit-forming took time and just like that breaking it will too, so make a realistic plan which doesn’t seem impossible, stick to the plan and wait.
Don’t let failure overtake you, failed once? Rinse, repeat! Follow these advices and you surely will break that bad habit.
Let’s be the better version of Ourselves!