Everyone has bad habits. There are those who like to bite their nails, crack their necks, annoy others, procrastinate, and so on. All these bad habits are certainly difficult to break. But don't be afraid. The guide below will teach you how to break your bad habit.
Part 1 of 2: Changing Your Mindset
Step 1. Take responsibility for your actions
You are the king or queen of your own actions. No one is responsible for your actions except yourself. Deliberately drinking and getting drunk before driving is your own decision. Like it or not, all the decisions you make are your own.
- Realizing that you are fully responsible for your own actions will leave you stunned at first. You will begin to realize that each of your actions will result in something, and the results may be different from what you imagined when you took the action.
- However, taking responsibility for one's own actions is usually very helpful. You are the one who determines your own destiny, not someone else's. Taking full responsibility for your actions will give you freedom. You will understand that your habits can affect something in your life, and stopping them will change your destiny for the better.
Step 2. Begin to understand the consequences and rewards of your habit
Make a simple list of the good and bad of your habits. Be honest and self-critical. Here is a list of the good and bad of smoking as an example:
- Become calmer and more energetic than nicotine
- Temporarily reduce stress
- One way to lighten the mood
- Make you look more stylish
- Causes various long-term diseases
- Can become addicted quickly
- Can shorten life if consumed in excess.
Step 3. Evaluate the rewards and consequences of your habit
Usually, we forgive our bad habits because we like the short-term rewards we get from them, and forget about the long-term consequences. And because we can't immediately see the long-term consequences of being in the future, difficult to measure, and uncertain, we end up seeing only the short-term rewards.
For example, you may want to skip breakfast. Because you want to try a diet, you finally convince yourself not to eat breakfast. In the short term, you may end up losing a few pounds and feeling successful. But in the long run, the weight will likely come back (because your diet is broken), and you plant the seeds of trouble in your diet
Step 4. Eliminate bad habits one by one
You may already be intending to get rid of all your bad habits, and that is a good intention. But don't rush. Get rid of one habit first, then another. Trying to get rid of all your bad habits at once can be overwhelming. So, get rid of your bad habits one by one, don't do it all at once which ends up failing completely.
Step 5. Don't get discouraged just because of a small failure
If you accidentally fail and re-do your bad habit, don't just give up. Try to keep trying to stop this habit. Small failures will indeed occur. So, learn from those failures and try to do better and not repeat them.
Part 2 of 2: Breaking Bad Habits
Step 1. Take notes when you do the habit
Have a notebook that you can take with you and take notes every time you get into a bad habit that you want to break. Record the days, hours, and situations in which you did it.
- Pay attention to all the triggers you are aware of. For example, you may notice that you smoke when you are around certain people and after drinking something.
- If you want to control those triggers, do it. Tell your friends and ask them to help you break the bad habit.
Step 2. As much as possible, avoid being in situations that trigger your bad habits
Some people have a habit of eating when they are bored because they like food, and don't like being bored, so they use food as a way to relieve boredom. That means the trigger for these bad habits is boredom. The solution, of course, is to try to stay busy and think, so they won't remember to eat unless they're hungry.
Step 3. Replace your bad habits with healthier ones
For example, many cigarette addicts replace cigarettes with young carrots whenever they feel like smoking. The solution makes sense: Researchers found that people who consume produce will reduce their cigarette consumption within a few days, so they can quit more easily.
- If you like to bite your nails, try chewing gum.
- If you like breaking your fingers, try to keep your hands busy by playing with small objects like a ball or drawing something.
- Be creative in finding substitute activities. You won't know what works for you until you try it.
Step 4. Create a situation where you don't enjoy your habit
For example, wear a rubber band on your wrist. When you make a bad habit, pull the rubber and release it until it hits your arm and causes pain. Over time, you will begin to associate your bad habit with the pain, and it will make you want to quit.
Step 5. Look for alternatives that are better but provide the same payoff
Bad habits definitely pay off, even if you're not sure what the rewards will look like. Try to identify what reward you're really looking for each time you engage in the bad habit. Then look for a better alternative that provides the same payoff.
Smokers, for example, often think that e-cigarettes or nicotine gum can be an alternative. Both of these items do still have side effects, but they are definitely better than smoking
Step 6. Make a commitment to the other person
Tell your intentions to your friends. You can even pay your friends to help you break your bad habit. This will make you not want to waste your money and will try harder to quit. Making a commitment like this will provide healthy pressure to help you quit.
Step 7. Create a manageable timeframe
Set evaluation times at 30, 90, and 365 days to celebrate your success. If you manage to get through 30 days without getting drunk, for example, it means that the hardest part of achieving success is over. If you make it through 90 days without a hangover, you've accomplished a great deal. After a year of trying to break the habit, you can be proud of this little accomplishment of yours.
- Optimistic and think positively. Praise yourself every time you hit a certain goal.
- Depending on how serious or "serious" your behavior is, you may need professional help.
- Be kind to yourself. Punishing and insulting yourself when you fail will not have any good effect.
- Ask for help from others. Tell us about your problem and your intentions. They will definitely do what they can to help you.
- Read and explore your habits. The bad effects of your habit can make you stop doing the habit. For example, maybe you will stop smoking if you know very well the ins and outs of smoking, starting from the content, and the bad effects it causes.