Bad Habits: How to break up with your bad habits permanently.

February 5, 2021

Sometimes, we have habits that we yearn to get rid of. Such habits may have negative impacts on our health and lifestyle. If this is the case, these are some of the things you can do.

Identify the behavior you want to change

The first step is to identify the behavior you want to change. Thinking that you have “bad habits” isn’t enough. You need to know exactly what behaviors you’d like to let go off. Having a focus makes it easier to know what you need to do. It gives you clarity on what you need to change and what you have to do to change it. This is an important step if you want to change a behavior.

Fine yourself for each offense

Make a bad habit a little more painful and you might ditch it for good. Money is a great motivator, so you can use the “swear jar” method. This method involves paying some money into a jar as agreed by you. It’s also something your friends can help you with. It’s simple, each time they catch you doing that thing you want to stop doing, you pay them. It works the other way too: Reward yourself for beating your habit every day.

Understand what triggers your bad habits

Understanding how we make decisions is the key to conquering all kinds of bad habits, including those related to money. Often, we repeat bad habits without even realizing we’re doing them. Thus, it is important to understand what triggers your bad habits. It could be the environment. Or even a person. Whatever it is, that triggers your bad habits, understand it.

Go slowly and make tiny changes

Forming better new habits takes time and effort, but breaking established bad habits may be even harder. So be patient with yourself. With food and dieting, for example, small changes like reducing one pack of sugar or switch cream in your coffee to low-fat milk can make a big difference in the long run and may inspire additional small but meaningful changes.

Remind your future self to avoid bad habits

Even with the best intentions, we fall into bad habits when our willpower fades. You might promise only to have two drinks when going out with friends, for example, but forget that promise completely as soon as you step into the club. Try setting up reminders in your calendar for yourself for your weakest moments.

Find a better reason to quit

Yes, we know that we shouldn’t smoke or eat fast food every day, but that awareness itself may not be enough for us to kick the habit. In addition to thinking you should quit smoking because it will be better for your health, you can better motivate yourself to do it because it may help you become more active and enjoy cycling in a way you weren’t able to before.

Train yourself to think differently about your bad habits

Even if we hate a habit we’re doing, like smoking or biting our nails, we tend to continue doing them because they provide us with some sort of satisfaction or psychological reward. Catch yourself thinking any positive thoughts or feelings about your bad habits and reframe them to remind you of the negative aspects. In other words, in this case, it’s good to think like a hater.

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