How To Break Old Habits

How To Break Old Habits

Everything about you is a result of your habits, in both negative and positive ways. Habits are actions that you have become accustomed to doing regularly and automatically, which is why breaking a habit is so tough.

In this post, I’m sharing with you 7 ways to make it easier to change.

 

Know What You Want To Change

Not only knowing what you want to change but what you want to change it to.

  • If you want to stop scrolling through your phone before you get out of bed, start charging your phone at the other end of your bedroom (or even better in another room).
  • If you want to stop snacking on junk food at night, start having healthier snacks accessible and buy less or no junk food when you go shopping.
  • If you want to cut down on your caffeine intake, switch to decaffeinated alternatives, and keep a water bottle with you.

This approach also filters you into replacing your unwanted habits with better ones.

Not checking your phone before you get out of bed can be a part of waking up earlier.

Snacking on healthy food instead of unhealthy alternatives can help you get fitter and healthier.

Switching to decaf and drinking more water can help you sleep better at night.

 

Know Your Why

Have a clear knowledge of why you want to change your habits. Is it so you can be healthier? Be less stressed? Learn a new skill? Have better relationships with friends and family?

Knowing your why will not only help you in the first stages of kicking your habits, but it will also help with your motivation when it falters. When you feel like giving up or you’re lacking in willpower, remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place.

  • I’m going to go to the gym because I want to feel good about my body.
  • I’m going to clean the house because I’m so much happier when my environment is comfortable.
  • I’m going to practise this skill because I want to be great at it.

 

Understand Your Triggers

When you next perform one of the habits you want to change, stop and think about what’s going on.

  • How are you feeling emotionally?
  • Is your environment playing a role?
  • Is something happening around you that has led to you finding yourself back to your unwanted habit?

When you know what triggers you, you’ll be able to avoid or address those things.

Face your emotions and seek help with them if you need to.

Avoid buying junk food (and definitely don’t go shopping hungry).

Get rid of all your ashtrays and remove the cigarette lighter from your car if you’re trying to give up smoking.

 

Create New Triggers

Use the “if this, then that” method for replacing your old habit with something new. For example:

  • IF my alarm rings THEN I will get up and make my bed straight away.
  • IF I’ve just eaten THEN I will clean up my dishes.
  • IF I’m going out THEN I will take a bottle of water with me.
  • IF I get paid THEN I will put some money into my savings account.

Try not to set up too many triggers at once. Remember, we’re going for small and simple changes.

 

Make It Easy

When something is easy, you’re more likely to get it done and you don’t need as much willpower to do it as you would if it was difficult.

  • Join a gym that’s near your daily route, take a gym bag to work with you every day, and pop in before you even get home from the office and have the chance to talk yourself out of it.
  • Lay out your study materials the day or morning before you plan to use them.
  • Do your food shopping after dinner and online, this way you can avoid putting junk food in your basket because you’re hungry, and you won’t be inclined to impulse buy something you might if you were at the store in person.

 

Use A Support System

  • Join a health group, club or class.
  • See if a friend also wants to work on the same habit so you can check-in with each other.
  • Go to the library to study in an environment made for it.
  • Take the kids with you for a bike ride and make it a family event.
  • Join a local event or meet-up related to your goals.

Being surrounded by others who are working towards the same goal as you will make it easier to get stuck in. Imagine trying to get in a workout in the middle of the office, or working at a desk on the gym floor.

 

Celebrate Your Wins

Save the money you would have spent on drink or cigarettes and put it aside for something you’ve had your eye on.

Pamper your body with a soothing bath and scented lotions after killing it at the gym.

Share the progress you’ve made so far with your support network and soak up the praise and love you receive.

One thing I like to do is write down every little win on a piece of paper and put it in a jar, whenever I need a boost I read them to remind myself I’m kicking butt.

TIP: Please do not reward yourself with unhealthy things. It’s just not worth it.

 

I hope reading this has helped you to start breaking your old habits. If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out this one: How To Build New Habits.

 

What habits are you changing in your life? Talk to you soon.

Elimy X

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How to build new habits

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