Breaking Old Habits and Building New Ones - What You Need To Know

We all want to feel accomplished and successful, but what that actually means can vary from person to person. One person might believe that success is earning a lot of money, while another might believe that success is being able to spend a lot of free time with the people they love. It’s completely subjective. One thing that remains the same, however, is that the success we experience is based largely on the things we do every day. In other words? Our habits! 

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Many of us have several kinds of habits. We have good habits that help to propel us towards our goals. We have habits that are neither good nor bad (or can change depending on the situation), and we have bad habits that take us further away from what we are trying to achieve. It can be difficult to break a habit once it has formed, but it’s entirely possible to do so. Here, we’re going to talk about how you can break old habits and build new ones. Take a look and you might just find a way to make the changes you’ve not felt able to make until now!

Take Stock Of Your Current Habits 

Start by taking stock of your current habits. This is a technique recommended in James Clear’s awesome book, ‘Automic Habits.’ Figure out which of your habits are helping you, and which are hindering you. Once you know your jump off point, you’re ready to make some changes. Don’t bury your head in the sand! 

Assess Your Triggers 

Now you need to assess your triggers and figure out what makes you indulge in your bad habits. Ask yourself helpful questions, such as:

  • What time do you usually indulge in your bad habits?

  • Where are you when you indulge? 

  • How do you feel when you indulge?

  • How do you want to feel when you indulge? 

Becoming very aware of the circumstances surrounding each bad habit can be eye opening. Perhaps you online shop and spend money you don’t have when you feel sad, and eat a family sized bar of chocolate when you’re not hungry, you’re just bored and alone. These habits can be changed once you know exactly why you do them and the feelings behind them. 

Understand How Your Environment Factors Into Your Habits 

Your environment factors into your habits massively. There’s a reason some people are purely social smokers, and there’s a reason soldiers coming out of Vietnam who had developed addictions were able to stop using so easily - because they were no longer surrounded by the visual cues that encouraged them to start in the first place. Make sure you take a look at your environment, and the environments you often find yourself in, and figure out how they could be encouraging you to indulge in your old habits. You can look at tips on how to quit a bad habit all day, but they’ll work most efficiently when you work on changing your surroundings, cues, and triggers. 

Pair Up Healthy Habits For Maximum Impact

Your healthy habits can be maximized in effect and made easier by pairing them up. This can make them become second nature to you. For instance, drinking a pint of water and taking your vitamins as soon as you get out of bed. There you have two healthy habits ticked off in one go, and you’re ready to take on the next thing. Remember, as visual cues can be so powerful, you may need to start setting yourself up for success. So, you could leave your vitamins out on the side along with a bottle of water so you see it as soon as you get out of bed. 

Become More Mindful and Self Aware

The more mindful you are and the more self aware you are, the less likely you are to indulge in your old habits. At the very least, you’ll figure out what is causing you to act the way you do. Shame and blame won’t get you very far, so don’t use these as techniques to attempt a healthier lifestyle. Instead, be kind and gentle with yourself but make sure you’re determined to understand why you do the things you do. 

Surround Yourself With The Right People

The people you surround yourself with can also have a huge impact on how successful you are. They should be supportive of you, and you should feel good in their company. If they belittle you or put fear into your plans and goals, it’s often best you stop spending so much time with them. What they say to you is simply a reflection of themselves, but it’s a fact that we become like the people we spend the most time with. If you spend time with negative people who are indulging in the same old habits with no desire to improve, you will also have trouble. 

Use Techniques Like Journaling and Visualization

Journaling can be a powerful tool, as you can spot patterns in your behaviour and work to change it. You can use visualization to imagine who you want to be and begin putting that into practice right away, too. There’s a reason many athletes and successful people swear by visualization! 

Choose A Substitute For A Bad Habit

Choose a substitute for your bad habit. Wear an elastic band on your wrist and snap it whenever you want to do something you know won’t benefit you in the long term. Drink a glass of water before meals so you don’t overeat. Try a technique that suits you. 

Let Go of Your All or Nothing Mindset 

Most people have an all or nothing mindset which means they regularly ‘fall off the wagon’. When you have a more balanced mindset, you’ll realize there is no wagon. Just doing your best each day is good enough. 

Make Promises To Yourself and Keep Them

Once you have quit your bad habit or made progress on it, perhaps you could treat yourself to a luxury bath product or something else that motivates you. 


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