Bad habits are hard to break.
They’ve possibly been set in place for years and years, and we just haven’t done anything to change them. We’re set in our ways. Both in our professional and personal lives, these bad habits manage to make an appearance.
If we don’t start changing the habits we want changed, we will not start to see the results we want to see. You know that bad habits keep you from reaching your goals, so why let them continue?
Have you tried time after time to take control and make a change for the best with your bad habits?
Whether it’s giving in to your sweet tooth, cheating on a workout, or procrastinating at work, this can all alter your motivation to keep going.
Understanding the psychology behind our bad habits can help us figure out why we do what we do and how we can discover real success.
Identifying Our Habit Loop
Bad habits are not broken, but are rather replaced with positive alternatives.
A habit is a loop. The habit loop consists of three stages: cue, routine and reward. You must first understand what triggers your routine and what is it that you reward yourself with.
For some, it’s that mid-day stomach growl that causes us to get up and start roaming around the kitchen. The reward then being the small boost of energy afterwards.
Another example would be, a tough day of work, acting as the cue for you to come home, lay on the couch and grab a tub of ice cream.
Finding out what your cue, routine and reward is allows you to understand where your bad habits come from. Are they connected to a person, certain time of day, or a certain emotion you’re feeling?
Brainstorm alternatives to your current habit loop.
Find alternatives at each stage to help you get the results you want. Write down a list of what you come up with and swap out these bad habits with a new routine.
Make sure this list is composed of alternatives that will help you move in the right direction, towards your goals and will leave you in a positive mindset.
Yes, commitment is scary.
Everyone is different. We each have our own weaknesses, challenges and perspectives.
Do yourself a favor and commit to your new habit loop of alternatives. Experiment with new routines and rewards. Maybe you find after testing your list of substitutes for a certain amount of time, you end up finding out what works the best for you and what doesn’t work for you.
Make changes as needed and keep testing.
Behavior change is difficult, don’t give up.
Mistakes happen, just start over and keep pushing forward and you will find success and break down your bad, unwanted habits.