Have you ever wondered how to break a bad habit? How to change a bad habit permanently?
Is it even possible?
Then check out how to break a bad habit once and for all – with the following simple steps!
What are Habits?
According to the dictionary, a habit is per definition a behavior pattern that is regularly followed, until it is almost involuntary.
This means it is something that you do regularly without even thinking too much of it. For example, the habit of looking both ways, before crossing the street.
It is a behavior pattern that occurs on autopilot if it is triggered by a certain situation. For example, the urge to smoke a cigarette, when you feel stressed out at work.
Habits are usually helpful because when the trigger occurs, we don’t have to think too much and spend so much energy on making a decision. We rather go ahead and just follow the habit.
A habit can be useful when it comes to good habits. For example, doing a workout every morning after waking up or having a green smoothie every day.
But, when it comes to bad habits, they can get very frustrating and also a huge burden. They can get overwhelming, and could negatively affect your health and well-being.
Examples of bad habits, that you want to get rid of as soon as possible could be:
- Stress eating
- Not sleeping enough
- Not working out at all
- Feeling stressed out all the time
- Jelling at your kids
- Being with people, who are not good for you
- Having a negative vibe
- Spending too much money, and getting into debt
You see, the list goes on and on.
So, let’s look into the possibilities to change or break a bad habit permanently.
Is it possible to change a bad habit?
Yes, it is possible.
Unlike a mental illness, a bad habit can be changed with the right positive mindset, and willpower itself.
However, when we feel stressed out or when a certain trigger occurs, it can get quite difficult to stay away from this bad habit permanently.
When we are trying to change a bad habit, we might fall back into old behavior until it has fully changed. That is very normal and should be expected.
It is important not to give up and always work on yourself until this bad habit that is hurting you, is truly gone.
Studies have shown that you can get rid of a bad habit after 21 days of practicing. After this period, the new behavior is fully replaced by the old one. Some habits might take a little longer, but this should be the case for the most part.
How to break a bad habit?
Getting rid of and breaking a bad habit can be a challenging task to take on. But it is worth the effort. You will have so much more comfortable with your life when you actually manage to break a bad habit.
There are some things that you can do, to support changing the bad behavior:
Figure out what you want and why
First, you want to get clear on your goals.
Ask yourself: What behavior do you want to change? This question might be very obvious to you. But, you will have far better chances to succeed with breaking your bad habit, when you actually write down your goals.
You want to write down your long-term goals, like +12 months from now.
You want to break them down into smaller tasks.
This Goal Planner contains yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily goals.
Keep an eye on your goals regularly.
This will help immensely with changing bad habits too.
Look for ways to replace a bad habit with a good one
You might want to look for new ways to replace a bad habit with a good one.
This sounds a little bit old, but it can actually work very well too.
For example, if people want to quit smoking, they often times gain weight in the process. They look for ways to put something else – mostly food – in their mouth.
So, you want to look for a healthier way to replace a bad habit and not replacing it with a bad one obviously. Instead of letting your, subconscious mind decide, it can be worth it, to pay attention to the habit that you want to replace.
For example, instead of hanging out on social media first thing in the morning, try to implement a little workout or stretching routine. It feels much better to start the day like that.
In fact, establishing a healthy morning and night-time routine is highly recommended when it comes to having good habits.
Avoid critical situations
So, let’s look into the definition of habits again.
A habit is a behavior pattern, that is triggered and occurs by certain situations – almost on autopilot.
So, what exactly triggers the bad habit that you want to change?
The strategy behind this is very simple: Avoid the trigger, and the bad habit is gone, or at least – easier to overcome and hopefully to be changed permanently.
Try Scripting: Start in your mind
Scripting is another great way to break a bad habit pattern. It’s a recommended and effective technique to manifest anything you want using the law of attraction.
It’s very simple: you describe a situation, wish, circumstance or your perfect day. Whatever you want to achieve or manifest. It’s best to write it down. You can use a Notebook, or a Journal – whatever works best for you.
This way you can feel how it would be if your desire was already a reality.
Your brain simply can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination.
You can let your imagination run wild with this. What would be your perfect day? Write it down and describe what a perfect day would look like for you.
In order to break a bad habit, you can write down what your life would like if you would have successfully changed the bad habit that is bothering you.
The more detailed you can describe what your ideal situation would like the better.
Focus on the things you have already achieved!
With all this hard trying to get rid of and breaking a bad habit, it is necessary from time to time to stop focusing on this bad habit. Instead, try to think about what you have already accomplished, and give yourself a little a pat on the back – you’ve earned it!
Remember, thinking positive is so important when it comes to achieving any goal.
If you think: oh, I will fall back into this bad behavior as soon as I’m stressed out the next time – you already set yourself up for failure.
So focus on the good habits you already have and stop worrying too much!
Track your habits and notice your achievements!
As mentioned before: you want to make sure to focus on good behavior to change a bad habit permanently.
So tracking your habits is a good way to know where you stand, and what you need to work on or have a closer look to.
And it’s so much fun, to keep track of everything, right?
Get rid of your bad habit forever – try this
This sounds a little bit drastic, but if you want to get rid of your bad habit, you can try this:
Take a comfortable position. Make sure that you are alone and that there are no distractions.
Imagine the following situation:
Imagine that someone is threatening your life if you do this bad habit again.
Further imagine that you actually will die if you haven’t lost 10 pounds, or paid off your debt -or whatever you want to achieve- after one year.
Do you see where this is going?
If this situation was real, it would be very easy for you to lose the extra weight. Every time you wanted to eat too much or skip your workout -you would never do that, right?
This is surely very drastic, but if you have a big enough why and a good reason, it is very possible to change and break a bad habit permanently.
Yes, it is very possible to break a bad habit permanently.
Unlike a mental illness, a bad habit can be changed with willpower, focus, and positive thinking.
To help you with changing your bad habits – you can get your free habit tracker here.
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