Everyone wants to get rid of their bad habits and led a better life. However, it is not as simple as you might think.
Habits are part of our life; our brain is wired to perform them unconsciously like throwing a wet towel on the bed or eating dinner in front of the TV. Plus, bad habits are associated with pleasure which makes it hard to leave like watching porn or taking drugs.
But habits are also patterns of behavior, and we need to break this pattern to get rid of our bad habits. Here are the steps that you need to follow to break your bad habits.
1. Define what you need to change :
Going to the gym or stop waking up late are good habits which everyone needs to do. However, you need in order to tell your mind what to do; you need to break these desirable habits into small doable things.
Like, avoid eating any oily or street food and specify the time you want to go to the gym. Similarly, deciding a sleeping and waking time and then sticking to it.
These specific, doable things are easy to execute than dream habits.
2. Identify the triggers :
Seeing the local hot dog seller is enough for you to be tempted to eat it. There are certain things that change your mindset and make you do a thing you don’t want. These are called triggers, and you need to identify them first.
So, that you can work around them. Another example of a trigger is a football match which makes you wake up late and disrupts your sleeping cycle. This indirectly causes you to wake up late.
3. Dealing with these triggers :
The first way to stop the kill the villain is by destroying his source. Your villain is these triggers, and you have to come up with ways to avoid them.
For example, driving on a different lane so that you don’t see the local hot dog seller or deactivating the sports channel which prohibits you from watching the football match.
You need to come up with ways to avoid these triggers.
4. Develop a substitute plan :
A mistake that people make is not replacing habits. For example, you stopped eating a hot dog in the morning, so that will make you hungry. Even if you don’t want to eat it, the hunger will make you do it.
So, now you need to find a different food which you can eat and the hot dog won’t come into your mind. Similarly, when you skip football or live matches,
you need a substitute for your sports passion, like watching another sport or take up a hobby. Else, you can watch highlights which are quick and mentally connects you with your passion.
Hence, you need to develop a substitute plan for your bad habits.
5. Change the bigger picture :
In order to get healthy, you switch to a healthy vegetarian diet or go to the gym in the morning or lunch when it is easier to go.
Similarly, you stay away from your football nerd fan which keeps bugging you about football. By doing you, you are distancing yourself from football and indirectly staying away from waking up late.
These small steps will play a big hand in you dumping your bad habits.
6. Use reminders:
Many times, we plan everything but unable to execute them due to lack of awareness or failure to identify the trigger.
In such a situation, you can set reminders to go to the gym or eat healthy. These prompts will keep you in check of your habits.
7. Get help from somewhere else :
It is hard to do something alone. Hence, you can go to a gym with a friend or take up a healthy diet with your friend.
Both of you need to pull each other up when you are about to commit a bad habit or miss your schedule. This will make your task a lot easier. The best example of this is the AA meetings.
8. Take the reward or punish approach:
If you are sticking to your schedule, you can reward yourself with anything other than the bad habit like buying a game or going out after a fixed period of rigorous hard work.
Similarly, if you don’t quit your bad habit, you can punish yourself by selling your console or quit going out. This approach will slowly but steadily change your mindset.
9. Slowly and steady is the key :
These habits are engrained in your mind. It will take a lot of time to get rid of them.
So, stay patient and persistent with your approach, and after a period, you will see the results.
These are some steps you can incorporate into your daily routine to stay away from bad habits.