4 Tips to Help You Kick Your Bad Habits
July 24th 2021
Having trouble kicking some of your bad habits? Here are 4 great tips that I think will help!
1. Identify your triggers
Remember, triggers are the first step in developing a habit. Identifying the triggers behind your habitual behaviors is the first step in moving past them.Spend a few days tracking your habit to see whether it follows any patterns.Note things like:
Where does the habitual behavior happen?
What time of day?
How do you feel when it happens?
Are other people involved?
Does it happen right after something else?
Let’s say you want to stop staying up past midnight. After a few days of tracking your behavior, you realize you tend to stay up later if you start watching TV or chatting with friends after dinner. But you go to bed earlier if you read or take a walk. You decide to stop watching TV and turn off your phone by 9 p.m. on weeknights. Removing the trigger — watching TV or talking to friends — makes it harder to carry out the routine of staying up too late.
2. Focus on why you want to change
Suggests it may be easier to change your behavior when the change you want to make is valuable or beneficial to you.Take a few minutes to consider why you want to break the habit and any benefits you see resulting from the change. Listing these reasons may help you think of a few that haven't occurred to you yet. For added motivation, write your reasons down on a piece of paper and keep it on your fridge, bathroom mirror, or another place where you’ll see it regularly. Seeing the list can keep the change you’re trying to make fresh in your mind. If you do happen to fall back into the habit, your list reminds you why you want to keep trying.
3. Enlist a friend’s support
If you and a friend or partner both want to break an unwanted habit, try to do it together. Say you both want to stop smoking. Dealing with cravings on your own can be tough. Quitting along with a friend won’t make the cravings go away. But they might be easier to deal with when facing them with someone else. Make it a point to cheer each other’s successes and encourage each other through setbacks.
A friend can still offer support even if they don’t have any habits they want to change. Consider telling a trusted friend about the habit you’re trying to break. They can encourage you in times of doubt and gently remind you of your goal if they notice you slipping back into old habits.
4. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness can help you develop awareness around your thoughts, feelings, and actions. This practice involves simply observing impulses that relate to your habit without judging them or reacting to them. As you become more aware of these routine behaviors and the triggers that lead to them, you may find it easier to consider other options, such as avoiding reminder cues or not acting on the urges. Practicing mindfulness can also help you notice ways your habit affects your daily life. As you start to recognize these effects, you may feel more driven to work on changing the habit.