6 Steps To Successfully Break A Bad Habit
Bad habits are habits that have a downbeat behavior pattern. They interfere with our lives and hinder us from attaining our goals. They not only physically and mentally affect you, but also waste your time and energy. Based on studies, 66 days is needed to break a bad habit. Breaking a bad habit such as fingernail biting requires repeated attempt of stopping it until it becomes successful. Bad habits can be distinguished from an addiction or mental illness through willpower. If a person can control his/her behavior, then it’s just a habit not an addiction. But if a person is powerless to control his/her behavior, then it’s an illness. Bad habits are usually caused by excessive stress and boredom. If you’re mentally unoccupied, you find something to keep you busy and in turn you develop unpleasant habits before you know it. Instead of developing bad habits, you can actually train yourself and find productive ways to deal with stress and boredom. Getting rid of habits you get used to can be too challenging but if you are serious about making a change, then it’s achievable.
- Recognize the root cause of your habits and find ways to overcome them.
Slowly breaking a bad habit relies on identifying the real problem and finding the causes for developing such habit. If you bite your nails because you’re stressed, you can actually think of more effective ways to deal with your anxiety. Why not listen to classic music when you’re feeling fidgety or talk to someone to at least relieve the pressure? Being able to understand why you are continuously engaged with bad habits can greatly help in getting rid of them.
- Don’t eliminate your bad habits. Replace them instead.
Bad habits address certain problems in your life. You can’t just get rid of them. But instead of continuing those habits, replace them with something more beneficial for you. What you need to do is to find a habit that gives the same benefit. Replace your bad habits with healthier behavior that tackles the same need in your life.
- Stay away from things that trigger your bad habits.
If you’re a heavy drinker, I suggest stay away from going to bars and don’t hang around the wine cellar in a party. If you’re a shopaholic, don’t go to the mall too often and stop looking for things online. Avoiding the things that cause you from sticking with your bad habits will truly help.
- Find someone who has the same objective and do it together.
It’s hard to stop your vices especially if the people around you are doing the same thing. If you can at least find someone who shares the same goal to get rid of bad habits, then it’s a good idea to join forces with him/her. Having someone who watches you and expects you to stick with your plan can significantly motivate you. In this way, you can also share your victories together.
- Picture your victory.
When you picture yourself out there successfully turning your back on your bad habits, you can start creating your new identity. This is a powerful motivator. Claiming that you have succeeded will push you to do more.
- Reward yourself.
Rewarding yourself for the good things you have done can seriously help to build a commitment in getting rid of your bad habits. It’s like getting a reward from your parents whenever you get high grades in school. You give your best and perform better because you expect a bigger reward. Eliminating bad habits and get rewarded for it, it’s a win win situation!