10 Helpful tips on how to break bad habits
Nothing dies harder than old habits, right?
Breaking bad habits can seem like the hardest thing to do in the world. You know you really want to quit, but you either lack enough will power, or you just don’t know how to do it.
Bad habits can damage relationships, and they can also seriously impact your health. They can also slow down your work performance, and generally worsen your life.
If you’re literally at breaking point, here are 10 helpful tips onhow to break bad habits.
List The Reasons You Want To Quit Your Habit(s)
If you don’t really know exactly why you want to quit a particular bad habit, you might find it hard to stay motivated. After a few days of misery, you might ask yourself: “What’s the point?”
For this reason, it’s a good idea to list down all the reasons why you want to quit your habit. How will quitting improve your life? What will quitting mean to you? Will it make you healthier, free up more time, save you some money?
Creating solid reasons means you’ve got a much better chance of staying on track when those moments come that cause you to question why you tried quitting in the first place.
Be Prepared For The Weak Moments
Another good tip on how to break bad habits is to be prepared for the weak moments. Of course, you’d love to sail through this period. We all would. But breaking a bad habit is not easy, and there will be times when you’ll feel vulnerable. And it’s during these moments when it’s really easy to give up and fall back on your bad habits in order to give yourself a pick-me-up.
Accept that moments of weakness will happen, and take precautionary measures to make sure they don’t get out of hand. For example, you could purposely clear your cupboards of chocolate, if giving up chocolate is your aim. You could also distance yourself from your hard-drinking buddies, if you’re trying to give up the booze, or find another hobby that stops you from growing so bored that you feel like indulging yourself simply to kill the time.
Break One Habit At A Time
When breaking bad habits, it’s important that you’re realistic. Instead of going into this with an all or nothing mindset, you should instead break each habit one at a time.
You’re not superhuman. You’re not going to be able to break all your habits at once. If you smoke, go to sleep late, eat too much chocolate and bite your nails, it’s a good idea to start with one habit before moving onto the next.
Prioritise which habits should be broken first. Perhaps start with the one that should be the easiest to break.
Make Yourself Accountable To Someone
This is another good tip on how to break bad habits. If you’re trying to accomplish a task but you’re not accountable to anyone, it can be very hard to stick at it during testing times. For this reason, it’s a good idea to tell someone that you’re trying to break a habit so that you’re accountable to them.
Even better, you could double up with a friend who is also trying to kick a habit, so that you’re there for each other whenever one of you is flagging. When you know that someone is counting on you to reach a goal, it’s much easier to retain the motivation needed to get over the finish line.
Rewarding yourself is one of the most effective tips on how to break bad habits. Quitting something you really enjoyed doing can make you feel miserable, but it can make you feel even more miserable, if you don’t give yourself any rewards.
After going a week without indulging in your bad habit, why not treat yourself to something nice?
Replace A Bad Habit With A Good One
Cutting something you actually enjoy from your life isn’t going to be a pleasant experience. In fact, it’s probably going to be depressing, tough and utterly joyless.
For this reason, one of good tips on how to break bad habits is to swap one of your bad habits with a new, good habit. For example, you could swap junk food with delicious healthy food (find what works for you), or you could swap swear words with made-up ‘cuss words’ that harm no one but still allow you to vent in some way.
Be as creative as you can.
The easiest way to kick a habit is to listen to the advice of someone else who has been there and done it.
If you don’t have a friend who has conquered a bad habit, read up about what to do on the Internet for your specific habit.
This is an especially good idea if spending is your weakness. You can educate yourself on the rules of personal finance, how you can freeze your credit cards and how to budget like a pro.
Get A New Hobby
When you’re alone with nothing to do, temptations fly at you from every angle. Bored and listless, the temptation to go back to your habits grows strong.
It’s important that you don’t experience prolonged moments of boredom. Find a new hobby that will help to fill up your time, or renew acquaintances with old hobbies that you’ve since given up.
Find ways of filling in the holes in your calendar so that you’re never in a situation where returning back to your old ways seems like a good option.
Take Incremental Steps
Going cold turkey works for some, but it certainly doesn’t help for all of us.
If you think that going cold turkey won’t work for you, you can take baby steps instead.
Ween yourself off a habit by cutting back your intake by half at varying intervals.
For example, if you smoke 100 cigarettes a week, cut this number down to 50 to start with.
Then, cut it down to 25 and so on.
Change Your Environment
Our final tip on how to break bad habits is to change your environment. It’s hard to give up drinking, if you live in a city centre amidst bars and clubs.
Similarly, it can be hard to give up smoking, if you spend your time hanging out at your friend’s house, whose rooms are swathed in smoke.
Consider changing your environment, so that you get away from your triggers.
What are your best tips on how to break bad habits?