One of the first things to do when trying to improve your life or simply change something in your life is focusing on the habits that create your lifestyle. We all have good and bad habits.
Breaking bad habits is important if you want to make your life better and start your personal growth journey.
According to the English dictionary, a habit is a ‘settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.’
However, breaking bad habits is not something that happens overnight. Habits, both good and bad ones, are something we have been doing probably our whole life. We’ve maybe been taught to do things a certain way, or we’ve created bad habits due to things that happened around us our entire life.
8 Valuable Tips to Help you Break Bad Habits
1 Identify the Bad Habit You Want to Break
The first step to start breaking bad habits is to identify the habit you want to break. Next, try to figure out why you have that habit and why it has a bad influence on your life. Finally, try to find out what triggers these bad habits and when these triggers are the highest.
Admit to yourself that this habit is a bad one and that you need to stop it. Once you know all of this about a bad habit, that’s when you can start working on breaking that bad habit.
2 Be Determined and Keep Putting in the Work, Motivate Yourself
Breaking bad habits asks for determination and motivation. It might get hard sometimes because habits are a part of your life. Habits are things, actions you’ve been doing your whole life or a big part of your life, so yes, it might be difficult.
But that’s why you need to motivate yourself to keep going. You need to find the willpower inside you to keep working on your goal of breaking this bad habit.
You can try to use a journal where you write every day how you will work on breaking a habit that day or write at the end of the day how you were able to withstand the urge or trigger to fall into that bad habit.
You can also use small notes or affirmations you leave for yourself to see throughout the day to motivate you.
3 Be Patient with Yourself
While being determined and motivating yourself, be patient with yourself and give yourself time. Good things take time, even if you put in the work. It’s understandable if you fall back into a bad habit so now and then, especially if you’ve just started the process of changing, and that is okay.
Remind yourself that you are human and are allowed to make mistakes, as long as you don’t give up, keep working and keep trying to do better.
4 Remove Unnecessary Triggers from Your Life
No matter how strong your willpower is, you might sometimes get tired of constantly putting up with triggers. You are only human. If you realize that you keep falling back into the same bad habits, you need to see if it’s possible to remove certain triggers from your life.
Maybe you need to change your environment or change the people you hang out with. Maybe just hang out with them less frequently or stop going to toxic places.
This way, you’re not only working on the intrinsic factors to get rid of a bad habit but also on the extrinsic factors.
5 Visualize Your Life After Breaking the Bad Habit
A great way to motivate yourself to keep breaking a bad habit is by visualizing yourself; your life after that habit is no longer a part of you.
Visualizing that you’re strong enough to withstand falling into that habit when triggered can help motivate you to do it in real life. Also, try visualizing your life in a different environment or one with fewer triggers.
Try to imagine how that feels. It can make you stronger to make the right choices and live the life you dream of.
6 Replace a Bad Habit with a Good Habit
A helpful way to stop a bad habit is by replacing it with a good one, a beneficial one. For example, if you’re used to buying sugary drinks when out, try bringing a bottle of water with you every day you go out.
This way, you don’t have to have that inner struggle about not buying a sugary drink when you get thirsty, but you have your bottle of water with you.
So, by replacing a bad habit with a good one, you are creating a new habit, a new routine that may make it easier to break a bad one.
7 Small Changes, Small Steps
Sometimes it might be frightening to make big steps, to stop with a bad habit that is a big part of your life. In cases like that, you can start with small steps that lead up to breaking the bigger habit.
For example, if you’re used to smoking 10 cigarettes a day and you want to break that habit, it might be hard to stop entirely in one day. So instead, try bringing it down to 8, then 6, then 4, and so on. This way, you are still reaching your goal, even if it takes a little bit longer.
You can also try to break other small habits. Being able to stop another small habit can help motivate you, knowing that you can break habits.
8 Get Help
It always helps if you have someone who can motivate you or help keep you on track. Sometimes a push is needed to help you keep going or just someone to talk to about the difficulties you are facing in this process.
You can find a good friend or family member you trust to talk to. Or you can seek help from a psychologist or life coach to help you, motivate you, or push you in this process.
And that’s a wrap. 8 valuable tips to help you in the process of breaking bad habits. Even though it might seem hard and maybe impossible, know that you can do this if you put your mind to it and keep putting in the work.
Don’t give up, keep going, and remember to love yourself every step of the way.
Here is a free planner you can use to help you get rid of bad habits.
If you have any questions or tips you’d like to share, I’d love to read them in the comments.