If you feel trapped under a bad habit, it may feel like you’ll never get out from underneath. Depending on the hold the habit has, you may have tried and failed more than once. It’s normal to have bad habits…everyone does. So it is important to work towards changing bad habits to good habits by breaking bad habits. Nearly any habit can be broken if you begin to create new, healthier habits to counteract them.
You Don’t Have to Stop a Bad Habit All at Once
Some habits are tough to break. It may be impossible to drop them all at once. Instead, focus on changing one thing or adding a positive micro habit that helps. Here’s an example- Eating sweets after 8:00 pm.
It may seem impossible to give up a nighttime sweet snack when you have a sweet tooth that demands attention. So, start chipping away at the habit by replacing aspects of the habit with something better.
Effective micro habit #1- Eat a sensible dessert with dinner. The simple small habit of adding something sweet at dinnertime can help start to shift your attention from a late-night snack to fulfilling your sweet tooth craving earlier.
Effective micro habit #2- Drink a low-calorie drink each night at 7:00 pm. Offsetting your sweet tooth by enjoying a low-calorie drink can sustain your cravings and make it easier to avoid a bigger urge to splurge later at night.
Effective micro habit #3- Start a new habit at 8:00 pm that distracts you entirely. If you busy yourself at 8:00 pm with activity, your brain can rewire itself to forget about something sweet, especially if the activity is fun.
Ask Yourself Some Questions
If you find yourself trapped in breaking bad habits, why not counsel yourself? Outside of addictions, most habits can be broken without a lot of trouble. One way to change bad habits to good habits is to ask yourself questions until you unravel the bad habit and replace it with a good one.
Here’s an example –
Interrupting people when they talk- This habit can create problems at work, socially, or in close relationships. Breaking the bad habit can make it easier to get along with others and make you more likable.
Ask yourself these questions to help break down the bad habit and introduce a healthy micro habit:
- Why do I interrupt people when they speak?
- How does it feel when people interrupt me?
- What is my goal when I engage with other people?
- What can I do to avoid interrupting others?
- What habit can I put into place to stop myself when I am about to interrupt?
This self-counseling can help replace a bad habit with a good habit and start to shift behavior quickly.
You can bust nearly any bad habit by paying closer attention to breaking bad habits and starting to slowly change it. Changing bad habits to good habits looks like Introducing good micro habits and over time the negative habits will be replaced by micro habits that add up to better, healthier behaviors.
If you are looking to shift your habits to healthy ones check out our online course on creating habits here