Our brains work on a trigger and reward basis—the so-called “habit loop”—which means it is easy to slip into a routine and difficult to fight back when the undesired behavior occurs.
Of course, life moves so much smoother when we are able to do certain things on auto-pilot, however, that has definitely had an effect on breaking your bad habits.
Identifying that bad habit is a great start. Once you are aware, you can start making a plan.
Here are some great tips to breaking that bad habit once and for all!
- Create a habit diary – remember that awareness thing we talked about? If you really want awareness, journal every time you participated in this bad habit. Chances are you will be surprised to see how bad it really is. You may understand more clearly what triggers your bad habit as well.
- Make a change – If life moves on auto pilot, changing up your daily routines may be just the thing you need. Don’t go down that same street with the donut shop that makes your mouth water. Don’t walk passed that smokers corner near your office that makes you itch for a cigarette.
- Don’t STOP….REPLACE – Instead of your morning bagel, switch it up to egg whites and oatmeal. Instead of biting your nails, chew gum. Your body will feel much more satisfied and able to focus when you lessen the urge with a healthier option.
- Reward yourself when you WIN! – Be careful with this one. If you are trying to kick a bad eating habit, don’t reward yourself with a binge eating fest. Perhaps reward yourself with a new outfit, maybe a date night out or getting your hair done. You did it!
- It must be realistic – Do not set yourself up for failure. Make sure your plan is well thought out and attainable. Write it down and leave it visible daily. It is all about the little victories, baby steps before you take strides.
- Set up obstacles to avoid derailment – This is where an accountability partner would come in real handy. Enlist a friend or loved one to call you out. Bring you awareness when you slip up or just before you do. Join a friend trying to break the same habit and keep each other on track.
While you are motivated to knock this out, I will leave you with this:
HOW TO CHANGE ANYTHING
- Ask and Receive
Bring awareness to what step you are on and realize the persistence and accountability are the last two, don’t give up. Learn and try again.