Change Is Good: Tips and Tricks on Breaking Old and Bad Habits

Man multitasking

“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.”
— Benjamin Franklin

Without our habits, life wouldn’t be the same. They help us move forward, simplify chores, and help us avoid wasting time and energy. Yet, not all habits are beneficial. 

Procrastination, smoking, and overeating are a few practices that can be terrible for our health and fitness. Although it can be challenging, it’s not impossible to break unhealthy behaviors. 

Bad habits can negatively impact our life, while positive ones can help us succeed. Though it can be difficult, it’s not impossible to break bad habits. 

In this blog, we'll discuss practical tactics to help you kick unhealthy habits and pick up good ones. 

Erasing the word "bad habits" on a blackboard

Identify the Trigger

“A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.”
— Winston Churchill

The first step in breaking a habit is identifying the trigger that prompts you to engage in that behavior. A trigger in habits is an event, situation, or emotion that prompts a particular behavior or action.

Take note of when and where you engage in the habit. For example, if you have a habit of biting your nails, notice when you typically do it, such as when you're bored or anxious.

Pay attention to your emotions when you engage in the habit. Once you identify the trigger, you can avoid it or modify your response. For example, if you tend to overeat when you're stressed, you could find other ways to deal with stress, such as exercising or meditating.

Make a Plan

“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.” 
— Joss Whedon

Making a plan is essential for breaking bad behaviors. Without a plan, you may find yourself reverting to old routines and behaviors. 

You benefit from creating a plan for breaking bad habits, too, since it makes you committed to your goal. This makes it harder for you to quit when setbacks occur while breaking your bad habits. You’ll also gain clarity on how to deal with those setbacks when you create a plan. 

When breaking a bad habit like smoking, consider adding these in your plan: 

  • Identify your bad habit and its triggers: Write down that you want to break your bad habit of smoking and indicate the situations or emotions that typically trigger it. For example, you may find that you reach for a cigarette when you're feeling stressed or socializing with other smokers.
  • Set a specific goal: Instead of saying "I want to quit smoking," it would be better if you say "I want to quit smoking by the end of the month."
  • Create a plan of action: Start by reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day to prevent feeling overwhelmed, or find healthy ways to manage stress.
  • Build a support system: Find a buddy (can be a friend or a relative) who’s also trying to break a bad habit, or join an online community for people with similar goals.
  • Track your progress: Consider using a habit tracker or journal to document your journey and reflect on what's working and what's not.

By following these steps and creating a plan, you can increase your chances of breaking your bad habit and achieving your goal.

Replace the Habit With a New One

“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
— Napoleon Hill

Replacing a bad habit with a good one is considered to be more effective than simply trying to remove the bad habit alone. This is because replacing instead of removing prevents you from feeling deprived

For example, suppose you have a poor habit of eating junk food late at night. If you merely try to eliminate this habit by avoiding unhealthy snacks, you may experience feelings of deprivation and dissatisfaction, making it more difficult to achieve your goal.

However, if you replace this bad habit with a good one, such as going for a short walk or performing some stretching exercises when you feel the urge to snack, you can establish a new routine that not only helps you avoid unhealthy snacking but also gives positive effects on your health and well-being.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”
— Yousuf Karsh 

Practicing mindfulness meditation is an effective tool for breaking bad habits, as it helps you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

This increased awareness can make you recognize your bad habits and when you engage with them, making mindfulness meditation ideal before making a plan.

To do mindfulness meditation for breaking bad habits, here’s what you need to do:

  • Choose a specific bad habit that you want to break. 
  • Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can sit down without being disturbed. Then, practice mindfulness meditation for about 10 to 20 minutes by closing your eyes and taking deep breaths.
  • Begin to observe your thoughts and feelings. If you notice thoughts or feelings related to your bad habit, such as a craving or a negative emotion that triggers the habit, simply observe them without judgment or resistance. Acknowledge their presence, but don't get caught up in them.
  • Visualize yourself breaking the bad habit. Imagine yourself successfully resisting the urge to engage in the habit, and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Although, mindfulness meditation doesn’t necessarily have to a sitting activity. You can still practice mindfulness meditation even when you’re walking. This is referred to as walking meditation or mindful walking.

Dog getting a treat

What Is Positive Reinforcement?

“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.”
— B.F. Skinner

In the field of psychology and behaviorism, positive reinforcement is a type of reinforcement that increases the likelihood of a particular behavior occurring in the future

It involves the addition of a pleasurable or desirable stimulus to the environment after a desired behavior has been exhibited, which strengthens the behavior and makes it more likely to occur again in the future. 

It’s important that you acknowledge that breaking bad habits is challenging. Bad habits abound in your life, from poor and unhealthy eating habits to excessive screen time spent on social media.

But because we operate on autopilot for half of the day, it's crucial that you develop wholesome, positive habits that will increase your productivity at work and enhance every aspect of our life.

Breaking bad habits is crucial simply because it helps you overcome stagnation and move forward in life. When you're stuck in old habits, you become resistant to change, and this can prevent you from growing and achieving your goals. 

For example, if someone has a habit of procrastinating, they may find it challenging to take action toward their goals and may end up feeling stuck and unfulfilled. Breaking that habit and adopting a proactive approach can help them to overcome their obstacles and achieve their desired outcomes.

You can enhance your resilience and learn self-discipline by breaking bad habits. You also prove to yourself that you have the capacity to alter and regulate your behavior when you’re successful in breaking a bad habit. 

This can stimulate you to take on new tasks in life and help you feel more confident and self-assured. And since breaking bad habits takes work and perseverance, it can help you build resilience and handle adversity better in the future. Moreover, it’s essential for your personal growth and well-being when you quit your bad habits. It enables you  to establish new routines and healthy behaviors, get out of ruts, and build resilience and self-control. 

By identifying the trigger, making a plan, replacing the habit with a new one, finding support, and practicing mindfulness, you can break your bad habits and adopt new, healthier ones, and lessen stress levels. Remember, it takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it.

High-performance man using Maximum Mind

Maximum Mind: The Game-Changing Cognitive Supplement

“It is health that is true wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

After breaking bad habits, creating new and healthier ones can be a challenging task, and it requires a lot of effort, willpower, and discipline. 

Whether it’s starting a new exercise routine, adopting a healthier diet, or learning a new skill, building a habit requires consistent repetition and dedication. However, adding cognitive supplements to the habit-building process can make it easier, more effective, and more sustainable. 

Cognitive supplements are tools or techniques that support brain health, such as attention, memory, creativity, and motivation. These supplements can take many different forms, including mindfulness practices, goal-setting, visualization, meditation, and so on. Cognitive supplements like Maximum Mind have the potential to be extremely helpful when it comes to creating new habits.

One of the main benefits of Maximum Mind is that it can help individuals stay focused and motivated in their habits. It can make the process of developing new habits more interesting and less intimidating by improving cognitive capabilities. The ability to aid in habit reinforcement and memory is another benefit of cognitive supplements. 

In today’s fast-paced generation, you have to be able to maximize your fullest potential by saying goodbye to old habits to build new ones that will really bolster your lives. 

One particular step that you should include in your daily habits is being more mindful of what you eat. Nourishing your bodies is a healthy practice that, more often than not, gets taken for granted. 

Given our busy schedules, modern scientists have come up with supplements that will restore our minds and bodies to their fullest potential.

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