How to Break A Bad Habit

Mambo vipi? This is yet another day, yet another chance to strive towards being the best version of ourselves. We all have bad habits that we wish we could break. These habits range from biting our nails & procrastinating, to irresponsible drinking and chain smoking.

Such habits negatively impact our well-being and overall quality of life. There’s the good news and the bad news. The good news is that breaking a bad habit is entirely possible and can be done in a matter of one month.

The bad news is that it will require all your determination, discipline, and resilience to make it a dream come true. In this article, we’ll explore a step-by-step trail to help you break bad behaviors and allow positive change to take its course.

1: Acceptance & Acknowledgement of the habit.

The first step in breaking a bad habit is accepting that it is present. To most, this might be the hardest step yet. Reflect on your daily routines and behaviors, and pinpoint the habit you want to cut out. Be honest with yourself and understand why the habit needs to change.

2: Recognize the triggers.

Bad habits often have triggers that set them in motion or influence them. Identify the triggers that lead to your habit and examine the main reasons why you engage in it. Then find an alternative and healthier ways to replace the habit.

3: Target Practice.

Clearly define a minor habit you want to break and set a specific & achievable goal. For instance, instead of saying, “I want to stop procrastinating,” say, “I will complete my task within a specific timeframe on this day by this time,” and work towards achieving that.

4: Develop a substitute behavior.

Breaking a bad habit requires replacing it with positive behavior. Find a healthier alternative that satisfies the same desire. A terrible example, is when veteran soldiers come back home, most of them seem to suffer from what is popularly known as “itchy trigger fingers”. They design small pocket-sized fidgety toys that give somewhat the same gratification they get from locking and loading artillery.

5: Develop a support system.

Reward yourself for every milestone you achieve along the way. Also, seek support from friends, family, and/or support groups who can provide encouragement and hold you accountable.

6: Learn from setbacks.

Nobody said it was going to be easy. Back slides are inevitable, don’t let that discourage you. Instead, view them as learning opportunities and opportunities for growth. Find out what triggered the relapse and get back on track. Third time’s the charm, they say.

Remember, change is good and change takes time. Be patient with yourself and be a shoulder for someone else to lean on. That ultimately makes you twice as strong.

I am. See the world through a different lens.