Breaking Bad Habits: How to Make a Behavior Change That Sticks

Aug 17, 2021 | 0 comments

Every person will pick up a bad habit or two throughout their walk of life. These bad habits can be grueling to overcome, but I believe that it is not impossible to put them behind us. Some habits can be so minor or unnoticeable that sometimes people do not even think one exists. Then, some habits become so detrimental to your health that a lifestyle change becomes a necessity. Changing old habits is a feat, but there are reasons as to why. Habits are automated processes that live within our subconscious. It takes little to no effort to perform habitual behaviors.  

A change in bad habits leads to a change in life.” – Jenny Craig

There are handfuls of problematic weak spots that society commonly faces. Two huge ones are not drinking enough water and binge eating non-nutritional foods. Water is the healthiest lifestyle change that anyone can make. The more water that you drink means the more hydrated your body becomes to tackle physical activities, stay alert for mental projects, maintain nice skin, and develop a great mood while detoxifying your system. Feeding your body too much sodium or an abundant amount of sugar is one of the easiest ways to develop health issues, such as high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, and heart disease. 

Other bad habits that people frequently face are not getting enough exercise or sleep, constant negativity and low self-esteem, procrastination, smoking and drinking, nail or lip biting, nose picking, drinking too much caffeine, swearing or using slang, cracking knuckles, and others. Some of these bad habits may not be cause for concern but rather an action that people desire to be rid of, while others can put a damper on your future. 

Moving forward from such a habitual action that has become part of your lifestyle is challenging; however, there are many ways to avoid sinking back into the depths of a bad habit. Here are several:

  • Break the Routine!

Maintain a schedule that pays no attention to the habit. Keep your body and mind active during the course of breaking habits while you begin building better ones. Taking control over your life and dictating every action creates an easier transition away from the unplanned habits that we dislike. This also allows us to implement a lifestyle change that improves our actions and betters our mental, emotional, and physical health. 

  • Slow but Steady

You must remember to take it one day at a time! A drastic change in your schedule might result in a loss of motivation to continue treading forward. Take it easy on yourself by making small changes. Little things add up to something big, and before you know it, you will be cruising past your bad habit and leaving it in the rearview mirror for good! 

  • Avoid Reminders

It is best to avoid circumstances, areas, or events that trigger a bad habit to occur. If you find yourself emotionally eating late at night, it might be a good idea to soak in a nice warm bath instead. Maybe certain songs, places, or people lead you to perform a habitual behavior. Try changing these patterns and relationships, avoiding contact until you feel back in control. 

  • Treat the Source

You might use more slang when you spend too much time on social media or drink more caffeine when you do not allow yourself enough rest. Discover the source of why the bad habit was created, and work on bettering that aspect, too!

  • Find a Replacement

Replace the bad with something new! Many ex-smokers like to put an object between their fingers or lips; plenty of success stories showcase a replacement of lollipops, toothpicks, or something similar to keep their hands and mouth active. Some might view this as replacing a bad habit with another bad habit, but some habits that need to be critically broken need to be done in stages. This concept can also be done intermittently! Let’s say you need to drink more water. Instead of making another pot of coffee, which takes water, drink a cup of water before you allow yourself another cup of coffee. 

“Change might not be fast, and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” – Charles Duhigg

Whether it be small or big – a bad habit can be changed! 

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