Habits, they’re something our brain uses to make life easier. But, unfortunately, due to the addictive side of human beings you can get addicted to a bad habit as fast, if not faster,than a good one. The good news is, you can rid yourself of any habit, good or bad by using these tried and true 11 steps. Changing habits can sometimes be a tough job and when you want to break a tough habit,you have to consider two extremely important things that will make or break the advice being presented to you here.
Is it Habit or Addiction?
This is a very confused and misunderstood gray area between how individual people define these two words. I take great responsibility in teaching people how to improve their lives and I cover all the nuances because I won’t personally know the readers. So, how can you tell the difference between a habit and an addiction that you will need further help to rid yourself of? An addiction is something you’re drawn to do that will cause mild to severe physical withdrawal symptoms or, mental and emotional ones. The symptoms can be so bad that you’ll feel as if you’ll do anything for the object of your addiction. This is not only with substances like drugs and alcohol; this could be anything from food to addiction has no boundary.
A habit can fall under any category but remember, they can only be stopped with good focus and an excellent support system, whereas an addiction can’t be stopped that easily. So, now that you know what category you fall into, let’s get to our 11 steps and these will let you know how changing habits work.
Getting Rid of any Habit in 11 Steps
1. Acknowledge the Habit:
This is done by not only acknowledging why you have the habit but what is causing you to participate in it. For example if you spend too much when you go out with friends, the answer may be simple or complicated. Now, don’t go and replace your friends. If they aren’t a bad influence,you won’t want to give up your tribe. The issue is most likely in you and if they aren’t giving you pressure to pay for them or to spend more than they know you can afford, then you may be pressuring yourself.
2. Get laser clear about the cause:
Once you’ve figured out when and how you participate in a bad habit, you should attempt to be laser clear about why. Drill it down to an even smaller category than the initial one you got when you acknowledged the habit.
3. Do you have more than one habit and are they linked? Kick them together!
Once you have a habit and start to kick it, other related habits that stem from the original habit start to kick in. This can leave a person discouraged; however, it doesn’t have to. As long as you understand that your brain finds comfort in the habit. Whether it is a good or bad habit; the brain will find ways to fill in the gap the habit you’re moving away from has made. Try to find out how the habits are interrelated and kick them at once. How? You find the core reason for all of them. It will be one single thing that pushes you to participate in these habits.
4. Find your true motivation (Changing habits):
Even the risk of death won’t make a human being change their habits. It’s sad but true we think it’s never going to be us. But, when you find your true motivation, like the future you want to see or your kids as your legacy or to be something you’ve always wanted to be, then and only then, will you kick it.
5. Be OK with going against social norms:
You see, a lot of bad habits are perpetuated by us wanting to fit in or go along with the norm. If you are OK with bucking that system, becoming an individualist and march to your own drum, you’ll kick those habits like nothing.
6. Love Yourself and Let that be the Motivation:
If you attempt to break a habit out of fear, frustration, depression, peer pressure or anger you’ll probably fail. The point of doing anything lasting is that is has to come from self love and nothing more. Why? Well, think about it this way: if you have a situation that you don’t place value on how successful do you think you’ll be? But, think of a situation that you place tons of value on and see just how successful you’ll be. This should be an essential change if you truly want to change the habits in your life.
7. Plan your Approach:
Now that you’ve gotten all the philosophical aspects down on these habits, it’s time to become a doer and not just a thinker. Take a day and sit with a notebook and take down what your approach should be. Only you know what you react to and what you’re likely to do and not do. Make an outline and stick to it.
At this point, directly after planning, you will need to take action on the exact plan you made without diverting from it. This step is in direct relation to the next step; which is why I say no diversions. When you act you must do so even if you don’t feel like it and depending on how ingrained the habit is, you will feel this way some or a lot of the time. This statement is in direct relation to number nine as well.
Now that you’ve taken action for a while, say at least 30 days, your brain is beginning to form new neural pathways. At this point, you can really jump start the process by starting to replace your old habits with new, healthier and more positive ones. This takes at least 30 to 90 days. If the habit you are breaking and replacing was a life long one, then it may take longer. This statement is in direct relation to step ten. This is one step that can help you greatly in changing habits.
Enlist others to support you. Once you hit the action stage just before the replace stage, getting a bit weak is normal. You need to keep a tight group of people that support your endeavor. If your friends don’t get it or you are losing the old group of friends, you’ll be able to actually find your tribe on line or by joining support and social groups.
11. Reward (Changing Habits):
One of the most important things to do is reward yourself for good work well done.
– Article by Born Realist