By definition, a habit is something you do automatically – without thinking. Some habits are fine, such as enjoying your fine-tuned morning routine to make sure you have enough time to get ready for work without getting stressed out. On the other hand, some habits are bad for you. No matter what it is, you don’t want to do it but just can’t seem to break it.
Fortunately, you don’t have to stay trapped in that bad habit. With some planning and effort, you can make it a thing of the past. Below are some tips that can help.
Acknowledge Your Habit
Before you can even begin to think about breaking a bad habit, you first have to admit you have one. Whether it’s overeating, smoking, spending too much time on social media, or anything else, in order to stop, you have to start with getting real with yourself.
Part of becoming self-aware about your bad habit is figuring out the real reason behind it. For instance, you might bite your nails when you get nervous about something in particular. Or you might eat too much of something unhealthy when you’re feeling bored or lonely.
When you ask yourself some hard questions, finding the answers can go a long way toward helping you begin breaking your bad habit.
Address Your Habit’s Triggers
Once you’ve come to terms with your bad habit and its causes, you can turn your attention to its triggers. For instance, if sugary treats are a weakness, just don’t buy them.
Of course, avoidance isn’t feasible for all bad habits. That’s where willpower comes in. If nerves get the better of you and cause you to bite your nails, you’ll need to address that particular issue head-on. But just need to make sure you’re not creating an environment that enables your bad habit to thrive.
Get a Support System
Your friends and loved ones want what’s best for you. So they’d be happy to do what they can to help you overcome your bad habit. Seek out those you trust to make you accountable and ask them to let you know when you’re indulging in your bad behavior.
Depending on how strong your impulse is, such as with smoking, drinking or overeating, you may need extra help. That’s when therapy or a support group made up of others battling similar habits, can be beneficial.
Find a Healthy Habit
While you’re trying to break a behavior, try replacing it with one that’s better for you. You can fill that void by stimulating your mind and body with healthy activities, such as exercising or developing a hobby. When you find something positive that you enjoy, stick to it. Before long, it will become second nature and your bad habit could become just a memory.
Reward Your Success
When you find yourself making headway in your efforts to break a bad habit, no matter how small the victory, celebrate. If you stop yourself from biting your nails just once, that deserves a treat (How about buying yourself something small but fun?). The more you progress, the bigger you can make your rewards.
Armed with these tips and a can-do attitude, your that much closer to kicking that bad habit.