A bad habit is hard to break because it has become an unconscious action that occurs when we come to a situation. The more you do thing the more they become habit forming. Like when people become addictive to smoking they perform the it enough they become addictive, they need the nicotine. When you perform a certain thing enough it will become so comfortable that you won’t even realize you do it. For example I play on my phone all the time and I won’t even realize I am when I do do it. And I do it when it is not appropriate. A very big habit that I need to change. When I am doing something important my phone should not be out or on, that way I am showing respect. If we enjoy something our brain will release dopamine which makes us happy and makes us want to do it again because we love the feeling. Which in turns make is habit forming.
You need to become self aware of your bad behaviors so you can fix them. Do not expect to fix them over night so don’t get discouraged if you slip up. You didn’t form it in one night, stay positive. On average you will need to engage in an alternative behavior or thought pattern consistently for an average of around 66 days for it to become a to you habit. however this can vary from 18 to 254 days, depending on what the behavior is and the person.
Keep in mind there is no such thing as a “One Size Fits All” for fighting a bad behavior. So you will have to play around and research different techniques to find what works with you. Try setting personal goals for you, write them down and always look over them, don’t just write and put out of sight out of mind. That won’t help. Tackle the ones that harm you first. Once you set up your list write you list of To-Do’s or you Action List. So you have something to follow.
You need to become self vigilant on when you slip-up. This is necessary when breaking a bad habit, you will need to remind your self why you are doing this. You will build your self-discipline and motivation so you will become stronger than your habit. Through all of this you will become self aware and you will be in tune to how you are feeling and what you are thinking. This will make you aware of your bad habit in the first place.
Once you find the right approach to help you break your habits you will need to find ways to put obstacles in your path to help keep you from slipping up. Be it to find away to stay off the internet or off your phone.
You then need to then replace the bad habits with positive habits. Be it walking away when someone gossips. Instead criticizing people try complimenting them on things they are doing well or try helping them fix.
Then give your self a reward when you break you bad habit. You replace the bad habit surge of dopamine with the reward. Over time your mind will connect your reward will end up giving you that dopamine surge, happy feeling. Your reward can be what you want but make sure it makes you happy. Just like with kids this will help you break the habit and after a couple of weeks you probably won’t need it anymore. However a reward here and there are still fun.
You can also include other people in to help you break your bad habits. This can be a big help. They can be your cheerleaders and help keep you on track.
For what ever reason you are doing this keep in mind you are doing this to better your life. So take that first step and do it and you will be amazed at how your life will change.