How to Break Bad Habits Forever

Posted: Sep 10 in Lifestyle by

Everyone has at least one bad habit they would love to get rid of. However, who didn’t try breaking a bad habit, only to relapse after a few days, or a week? Don’t worry, there is still a chance: here are some pointers on how to break a bad habit forever.

Find someone to hold you accountable 

Perhaps the most powerful method of sticking to quitting a bad habit is telling someone your plans. Find a family member or a trusty friend who is willing to check up on your progress every now and then, and who will shame you if you give up. Most people don’t want to be shamed by their peers, and often, the shame of giving up will be greater than the urge to relapse. If you also want to make sure the person finding you accountable won’t forget, try to also help them with kicking one of their habits, and marking a daily time when you report your progress to each other.

Replace a bad habit with a good one 

This tip will sound very hard to do, when in actuality it only requires a bit of willpower: whenever you get a bad urge, do something good for you. You should decide upon an activity you do only when you get an urge, such as doing push-ups, or meditating. By always doing this activity when you get an urge, you will reprogram your brain so that it thinks that the urges were always associated with the new activity.

Find people with similar goals 

The Internet is a large place, and chances are, no matter what habit you’re trying to break, there are others facing the same challenge as you. This is why Internet communities can be a blessing when trying to make a huge lifestyle change, as you can find people with similar goals and discuss strategies or get encouragement. The sites you are most likely to find public habit-breaking groups are on Facebook and Reddit, as well as dedicated forums, in the case of more popular habits such as smoking or emotional eating.

Don’t give up when you give in 

Eventually, even the most strong-willed individuals will give in to their urges, whether intentionally or impulsively. It will happen to you too, so it’s best to prepare yourself mentally for that moment. Many people give up completely once they give in once, feeling that they’ve failed. However, it’s easier if you mentally imagine your path towards the goal: just because you made a step back, doesn’t mean you’re back to where you were when you started your journey. Cut your losses, remind yourself of why you’re doing this, and try to be more careful not to give in next time.

Reward yourself for reaching milestones 

The road to completely breaking a bad habit is long, but there’s no reason not to break it into smaller goals, and reward yourself when reaching those. For example, have a reward ready for every week you make it without giving in to an urge, or, if your progress has visible results, you can try rewarding yourself based on that. Also, don’t rush yourself. It might take a long time to forget about a vice, but as long as you keep resisting it, you are still making progress, even if you’re still thinking about it.

Breaking a habit is one of the toughest things you can do because it’s you against your own brain. This is why you need to fight dirty, as well as be very strong-willed and determined. The tips in this article will definitely help you, but it’s up to you to apply them.

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