Create A New Good Habit To Replace Bad One


Your habits can either makes you failed or succeed in life.  The well-known motivational teacher Brian Tracey once said, "Good habits are hard to develop but easy to live with" and "Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with".  You may have found out that in order for you to successfully change an old habit, it requires you to create new ones to replace old habits.

Getting Rid of The Old Bad Habit

So, to really rid of your bad habit. you must first create a new healthy habit to take the place of the old ingrained habit. 

Therefore, it is essential that you answer the following honestly:

Why You Want To Change the Habit

Firstly, you must know your motivation to change. You have to have a compelling "why". Ask yourself, "Why make the change now? What gives me the determination to change? What will I gain from the change? What will happen if I don't change?" 

For example, if you are someone with a health problem, you must decide that breaking bad habits through a conscious effort is a worthy goal. You must convince yourself that the change in the habit is worth the effort involved as it is going to save your own life.

How Your Bad Habit Is Trigger

Make a point to evaluate your habit pattern: What triggers the bad habits i.e., where are you, who are you with and what are you doing? What is pleasant and unpleasant about the habit? What's in it for you besides the feel good 'rush"?

What this mean is that you must become aware of your habits. What is this habit exactly? How is this bad habit or group of bad habits affecting you? How is this habit affecting others? For example, smoking often has negative effects on others as well as on you.

How Can You Link the New Habit to a Reward

Think of a healthy habit you can create to replace the unhealthy habit and get similar rewards, satisfaction? You must enjoy the change as something that brings joy in your life. Give yourself small rewards often to link pleasure to your new behaviour. Because if it doesn't feel good, permanent change won't happen, so you need to replace it with a happiness habit.

What you need to know here that it is important to focus on changing just one habit at a time. Then, take consistent daily actions for breaking the bad habit that has been causing problems and take the actions to develop a new one. We suggest doing this process one step at a time rather than trying to do it all at once. Sometimes changing a habit can be done "cold turkey" like smoking and sometimes it works better to make a gradual change.

Be sure to give yourself positive rewards often for taking small actions toward changing a bad habit. Continual day-by-day actions are what are critical. This is NOT about an occasional action or step. It is about being consistent every day.

When Will the New Habit Stick

Studies shows that it can take from 21- 28 days to make new pathways in the brain for a new habit to become ingrained depending on the will-power of each individual as we are unique human. To make it "stick" the new habit needs practice, consistency, focus and repetition for it to become automatic.

After getting the above answers, the only thing left for you to do is mark your calendar for day 1:

  • Post your motivation and rewards list everywhere for continued incentive.
  • Get support from family, friends, and role models for positive reinforcement if you need it.
  • Avoid temptation- the old triggers - until you are strong enough.
  • Give yourself small rewards often. Factor in a long term reward to celebrate your success.

Remember to visualize regularly the rewards for following through and the costs of not following through on breaking the bad habits and especially the value to your future of building new better habits.

Try and get support from others, especially other people who want to make changes in their lives and read about people who have been successful in breaking bad habits. Affirm that, no matter what, you will not backslide into your old bad habit patterns.

Finally, to ensure long term results visualize the new you repelling the unhealthy habit and replacing it with the healthy habit. Several times a day. Be consistent. Every day for the next 28 days.

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