How To Break A Bad Habit And Replace It With A Good One
Breaking bad habits is hard, especially when you built this habit over multiple years. I this blog I discuss how to break a habit and replace it with a good one.
Bad habits are born out of escapism. It is a pattern of behavior that reacts to the stress your body experiences. The habit is usually used to escape that stress. Nail biting, smoking, drinking, sleeping in or eating unhealthy are all examples of bad habits.
So how do habits work? Charles Duhigg wrote in his book The Power of Habit that habits have cycles. There is a cue, routine, and reward.
The cue could be a notification, a feeling or even a sound. Often it’s a normal trigger, something we all experience, like being tired for example. With a bad habit, the difference is your response to that cue. That response is called your routine.
Something got you feeling stress so you instantly move your fingers towards your mouth and you start biting your nails. You don’t even like biting your nails so why do you continue this bad habit? Because there is a reward. This reward might not even be good for you. When you bite your nails the reward is stress relief.
You probably already figured it out, in order to break habit you need to change the routine. There will always be a cue but the way you respond to the cue is the way to change your bad habits and turn them into good habits.
Here are some tips on how to break a bad habit and replace it with a good one.
Get a accountability buddy.
We all need someone to hold us accountable at times. A person you trust and who understands the journey you’re going through. This can be a coach or it can be a friend, as long as they help you break those habits.
Replace bad routines with positive routines.
What are you trying to achieve when you drink coffee in the morning? What is the reward you’re looking for? More energy. Replace coffee with exercise, it will give you an even higher amount of natural energy without the caffeine. It will be hard in the beginning but eventually exercising will become your second nature.
Change your environment.
Changing your environment is a great way to change for the same reason why rehab facilities take you out of your house and into their living space. Breaking habits is hard if you’re confronted with the same people, sounds and even smells that got you into those habits. Even moving the furniture, painting a wall or cleaning up your house will help your attitude.
Writing down every task you do throughout the day helps you to raise your awareness. Before you can break bad habits and replace them with a good one you need to recognize the cues, the behavior, and the routines. Writing these down is a great way to start recognizing and changing them.
I can help you with this. I have several programs designed to help you recognize and change bad habits. Together we can work on a clear roadmap towards a healthier more productive future. Sign up for a free mindset coaching session here.