Bad habits are controlling, hard to manage and can seem impossible to get rid of. Breaking a bad habit is a process and can take patience. The biggest part is that you are able to be aware of your habit and form processes to curb it. Beating your bad habits can be a lot of work but you are left happier and healthier when you do.
Breaking the habit or habits that control your life can put you on the path to be your best self. Changing your habits and overcoming the fear of change helps you to have a happy life and a positive attitude.
I am a chronic phone user. I love to scroll through the endless sea of posts and stories. Problem is, it’s endless. I can scroll through post after post and never realize just how consumed I can get.
I’m not going to share how long each day I’m on my phone because it is a little excessive and my “Daily Screen Time” already shames me enough.
I don’t want to keep up this pattern though, my phone is not a way of life. I want to stop reaching for my phone whenever I have a hand free. By trying to catch myself during my scroll, I can start to break the habit. Acknowledging I have an issue and catching myself in the act, help to begin to change my habits. Instead of reaching for my phone, I try to grab a book instead. When my hands itch for the fix on my feed, I find something else to do with my hands. Crocheting, drawing, or cleaning are quick ways for me to distract myself.
I’m not over my scrolling addiction and I can still find comfort in my old ways but I have to keep coming back to the real world. Pulling myself out of the trace that bad habits bring can be really tough and change will not happen overnight but with repetition and replacement with good habits is helping to break my bad habit cycle.
You are a wannabe go-getter and you want to live your most fulfilled life but you don’t know where to start? When you subscribe to my newsletter you get access to my Daily Success Driver and Habit Tracker! Both of these work together help you choose the right kind of habits and stick to them!
Tips for success
These really don’t fit into my 7 step bad habit breaking system but I think they are important to note, as they may help you get an extra edge over your bad habits.
Buddy System - This works really well when you need help to keep yourself accountable. By finding someone who is trying to quit the same bad habit you are, you can work together to keep each other on track. Having someone who is going through the same thing you are, gives you someone to relate to and can make you more likely to stay on track.
Talk about it - Maybe you don’t have anyone who can be your partner in breaking your bad habits but you can use social pressure to keep you accountable. By talking about and telling your friends, family, or coworkers about your goal, you seeming leave yourself with no option but to succeed.
Reward Yourself - When you find yourself meeting your goals, make a point to acknowledge it. Make reaching your goals something exciting and something you look forward to.
Step 1 - Acknowledge your Habit
Chances are if you are reading this then you already know what your bad habit is(or habits are). Acknowledging your bad habit is a little more than knowing what your habit is. Acknowledging your bad habit is also about accepting that your bad habit does not serve you. You have to believe that your bad habit is worth getting rid of.
Step 2 - Determine Causes
To fully understand your bad habit you have to find the trigger or cause of it. Most commonly stress and boredom are the cause of bad habits. You can try to narrow it down even farther to help with the next step.
When you get stressed at work you might feel like lighting up a cigarette or you might start drinking every weekend. Maybe when you’re bored you pick up your phone. What drives you to your bad habit?
Step 3 - Change your Environment
When you have triggers all around you it can be hard to make sure you don’t slip back into your bad habit. By removing any potential triggers you can limit the frequency that you will have to fight your mind not to resort to the bad habit.
If you are trying to quit sugar, you should get rid you the snack foods in your pantry and make sure not to buy any more. If your bad habit is using your cellphone too much, you could try leaving your phone in another room or even set a time in your household that you make cell phone free.
Step 4 - Set Goals
You don’t have to eliminate your bad habits cold turkey. Instead, work on setting reasonable goals for yourself to meet. Use goals as daily motivation to keep your bad habits at bay.
If you want to quit smoking, try to limit the number of cigarettes you have. Start by having one less than normal, then two and so on until you reach one cigarette per day. Try to stop entirely for one day then two. Quitting your bad habits does not have to happen all at once; start small and work your way up.
Step 5 - Create Healthy Habits
When you can rely on good habits instead of your past bad ones, you can channel your energy into something healthy. Instead of smoking when you get stressed, try meditating or add daily physical activity into your routine. Take the energy you once had for your bad habit and use it for something to benefit you.
Making good habits is also a process but it can be the turning point for leaving your bad habits behind. Develop happy habits and become happy yourself.
Step 6 - Learn Awareness
If you find yourself feeling stressed or reaching for the bad habit, take a moment to acknowledge it. Check in with yourself. Are you feeling any certain way? Bored? Stressed?
If you can catch yourself before you begin to engage with your bad habit you can reroute and pick a healthier way to deal with how your feeling.
You can also use this strategy to catch yourself during the act as well. Your response may be more of, what can I do right now to stop myself from continuing my bad habit? How can I pull myself out of the act that I'm partaking in?
Step 7 - Keep Showing Up
Breaking a habit is hard and there is a good chance that will power alone will not be enough to keep you from your bad habit. Learn to accept when you relapse but also learn to get back up. You have to actively want to break your bad habit and when you can keep coming back to good habits and healthy ways of dealing with stress, you increase your ability to not let your old ways control you.
Breaking bad habits is hard because they are something that you have become comfortable with. The key to successfully freeing yourself from them is to put in the effort and not be afraid of change. When you are willing to work for the things you want, you will see results. You already know what your bad habits are, now it’s up to you to do the work and free yourself from them.
Get your bad habits off your chest by leaving them in a comment! Let’s work on this together!