How to Break Bad Habits
Self-discipline and motivation are key to kicking bad habits.
Bad habits can hold you back from achieving your true potential. Breaking a bad habit can seem daunting. But with time, patience and the right tools – you can break free.
- Identify the causes. What short-term gain does your habit give you? Who did you learn it from? Understanding why a habit formed will help you to tackle it in the best way for you.
- Increase your self-awareness. How do you tend to respond to challenges? Do you like to follow or fight rules? The more you know about yourself, the better you can prepare for breaking your habit.
- Choose your approach. Do you prefer to "jump in the deep end" and quit the habit all at once? Or are you motivated by the thought of starting something new in its place?
- Make a plan. Set yourself achievable goals with realistic milestones. This is the moment you start your journey and begin to take action!
- Monitor your actions and emotions. Keeping a journal of your progress can be highly motivating and instructive. It may shine a light on the behaviors or situations that trigger your habit.
Use obstacles and replacements. For some people, it can be helpful to set up barriers to block the behavior. For example, if you spend too much time on social media, download apps that limit your online time.
You can also switch the negative behavior for a positive one. Replace lunchtime gossip with a daily walk; smoking with knitting; criticisms with compliments.
- Find a role model. Seek out someone who has already succeeded on this journey. Learn from their experience and find inspiration in their results.
- Reward yourself. Make sure it's something that you truly want – and that you won't regret later!
- Involve others. You can't always keep going on your own. Share your goals with people who will understand and encourage you. They can help you to stay the course.
If you want to learn more about breaking bad habits, see the article that accompanies this video.