Old habits die hard. If you’ve ever struggled with habits like snacking before you sleep, failing to put things back where they belong, looking at your phone all the time or simply preventing procrastination, here’s a guide for you to axe those bad habits once and for all.
Out of sight, out of mind
Refrain from things that may trigger your habits. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, resist the urge to study at wherever coffee is readily available. Stop buying snacks to munch on, and drink more water instead. This will prevent yourself from subconsciously reaching out for them.
Great achievements are rewards in itself, but it surely feels better when you receive a physical reward for your achievement. Allow yourself a cheat day when you have gone a week or a month without giving in to your bad habit. That being said, it’s not a chance for you to gall back into the vicious cycle, so reel yourself in when celebrating your achievements.
You are the company you keep. That’s not to say that you should stop being friends with people who enable your bad habits, but surrounding yourself with people who support a positive chance in you will definitely help when you’re trying to kick a bad habit.
Don’t give in to peer pressure
Its okay to be different, especially when it means getting rid of the bad habit that may seem cool to others. When you are tempted to give in, think about how far you’ve come and why you embarked on this journey in the first place. After all, it’s all in your head.
It’s okay to fail
Breaking a bad habit is no walk in the park. There are bound to be failures and setbacks. When that happens, figure out what went wrong and learn from your mistakes. You are already a winner as long as you don’t give up on your efforts. What matters most if picking yourself up and trying again.
Study your behaviour
If you are trying to get rid of your coffee addiction, note the time, situation and state of mind when reaching out for a cup of joe – the same goes for other habitual vices like checking your social media feed or biting your nails.
Figure out what it is
The first step to solving your problem is to recognise it. It’s hard to change a bad habit when you don’t even know what it is. Ask your friends or close ones to list something negative about you that they would like to change, but remember to take it in your stride even if it’s something you don’t want to hear. The truth is usually hard to swallow, but if you want to change for the better, it’s good to have some tough love from those you trust.
The habit jar
Similar to the swear jar, whenever you find yourself committing the bad habit you’ve been trying to break, fine yourself by dropping a dollar or two into the habit jar. You’ll definitely feel the pinch in you wallet, but that’s the point: it helps to deter you from repeating you guilty act. Plus you can also make use of the funds you accumulated to reward yourself with a treat whenever you reach a milestone.
Think of your game plan
You should never tackle a problem without a plan. From your observations, think of ways to counteract the reasons to why you practice a bad habit. Is it stress-related? Try meditating instead. Do you behave a certain way because of the company you keep? Maybe all of you con motivate each other to curb the habit. Whatever it is, think of a solution to help you from succumbing to your shortcomings.
Just do it
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If you have decided to rid yourself of a nice, overcoming the inertia of change is the hardest. Take baby steps but be consistent. Experts say most habits can be developed and changed if you practice it for 21 consecutive days, It might seem like a long time, but keep at it and you will surely see results.
Now that you have/are working on getting rid of that bad habit, try to pick up some good ones here.