Do you want to learn how to break bad habits and form new good ones but have no idea where to begin? You have come to the right place!
Getting rid of your bad habits and making your new good habits stick is not easy, but it can be done. You will need to be ready to invest your time and energy into achieving this goal.
You will also have to persevere, be consistent, and be more compassionate to yourself because you will likely face challenges while trying to change your habits.
Perhaps one of your New Year resolutions for 2024 is to learn how to break bad habits and form good ones in various areas of your life. For example, you could want to develop good habits that impact your health, finances, work, or relationships.
However, you may be struggling to keep your resolution because you didn’t give much thought to how you were actually going to get rid of your bad habits. Or, maybe you didn’t factor in the setbacks you might encounter while trying to break bad habits or when making the new good ones you have developed stick.
This post will help you make the process of making these positive changes in your life easier. We will provide several tips on how to break bad habits and form good ones that stick.
We shall also give examples of bad habits and good habits. Finally, this article will list the benefits of developing good habits and breaking bad ones in order to motivate you to start this process and see it through to the end.
Examples of Bad Habits You Need to Break
Before we give examples of bad and good habits, let’s start with definitions; What is a bad habit? What is a good habit?
A bad habit is any negative behavior you repetitively engage in, whether subconsciously or consciously. You may feel good while doing it, but long-term repercussions often accompany a bad habit.
Examples of bad habits you need to break include smoking, eating unhealthily, procrastination, phubbing, overindulging in alcohol, gossiping, being judgmental, nail-biting, swearing, laziness, lying, and being too nice, among others.
On the other hand, a good habit is any recurring action that produces positive outcomes in your life now and in the future.
Examples of good habits to form starting today include eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, drinking water, spending time with loved ones, journaling, doing your hobbies, flossing, practicing meditation, and more.
Below are some benefits of breaking bad habits and forming new good ones that stick.
Benefits of Forming Good Habits
- Better chances of success due to enhanced performance, creativity, and productivity
- Improved relationships with yourself and others
- Better mental and physical health
- Saved money, time, and energy
- More satisfaction with your life
- Improved longevity
How to Break Bad Habits and Form Good Habits
- Increase self-awareness
To change anything in your life, you must first be aware of whatever it is that needs changing. So, do you realize which of your habits are bad and need to be changed?
If you want to learn how to break bad habits and form good ones, you will need to increase your self-awareness.
Reflect and review your life to identify your current habits, both good and bad. You could write down everything you usually do and how it affects your life.
For the bad habits, identify what triggers you and determine why you behave that way.
The triggers could include the people you are around, the current events in your life, or the environment where it happens.
You have identified the bad habits you need to break, and now you know how forming new good habits will benefit you personally and professionally.
As you learn how to break bad habits, your next step is to determine what you need to do to get rid of them and replace them with good habits.
Start planning how you will go about changing your bad habits to form better ones. For example, to break a bad habit, determine what is the best solution, know how to avoid triggers, set milestones, and decide what to do if you slip up.
Finally, set the date by which you expect to have gotten rid of the bad habit and replaced it with a good one. Remember to be realistic while setting goals and planning.
- Visualize your success
Our mind has the power to influence our actions and attract the things we want into our lives. After all, we manifest what we focus our thoughts and energy on.
As you learn how to break bad habits and try to form good ones, you can use the power of your mind to visualize yourself succeeding.
For example, picture yourself achieving your goal of waking up early and becoming a morning person, cutting back on partying, or living in a clean, organized house.
This vision will give you an idea of what your life will be like once your bad habits no longer hold you back. It will also help you imagine how your new good habits will positively impact your life.
Visualizing yourself succeeding in learning how to break bad habits and forming good ones will motivate you to keep trying because you can ‘see’ what you are working toward.
- Take it slow
Trying to break a bad habit overnight sets you up for failure. Similar to how it takes time to form a new habit, successfully breaking an old one will also not happen suddenly.
It will take time, hard work, consistency, and perseverance for you to get used to not having your old bad habit.
As you learn how to break bad habits, avoid trying to get rid of them suddenly because doing so will make you frustrated and discouraged if your new good habits fail to stick.
Instead of rushing or taking shortcuts, trust the process; you will eventually see your desired results.
You will get better results if you gradually begin to push back on your sleeping time 20-30 minutes earlier each night until you get to your ideal time and adapt to it.
- Surround yourself with the right people
The people you spend a lot of time with can influence your behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. For example, if your friends are toxic, it could rub off on you and you may develop toxic traits too.
When learning how to break bad habits and form good ones, you will need to surround yourself with people who will provide you with various types of social support.
They can motivate you, offer encouragement, and provide tools, such as books, blogs, gadgets, and success stories, that could be instrumental in your habit change.
You could also surround yourself with people who are on the same journey trying to break their bad habits to form new good ones. Additionally, people who already succeeded in getting rid of their bad habits can be great to have around.
Their success in developing new good habits that stick will inspire you and encourage you as you will know it is possible. You could even compare yourself with them and ask yourself; if these people managed to break their bad habits, why can’t you?
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- Take it one at a time
So you are excited to learn how to break bad habits, form good ones, and turn your life around?
One of the common mistakes made by people who want to become a better version of themselves is to try to change too many habits at once. And, while it is good you want to improve yourself, this may not work.
If you want to get rid of your old bad habits and form and stick to your new good ones, you should start small and take it one at a time. Say, for example, one habit at a time or one month at a time.
Studies show that forming a new habit and making it stick takes 18 to 254 days. The exact time it takes will depend on the habit and how you build it.
Therefore, if you try to develop or change too many habits at once, you may fail to focus on any of them, making it harder for them to stick.
- Change your environment
The people you surround yourself with are not the only ones who can influence your habits; the environment could do it too.
So, check your surroundings, whether it is your home, workplace, neighborhood, or the places you hang out, and ask yourself, does your environment encourage your bad habits?
Perhaps your home is dirty and cluttered, you hang out at the bar too much, or your neighborhood is full of drug users and dealers.
Living or spending too much time in an area that doesn’t foster good habits could explain why you have bad habits that are hard to give up.
Since you want to learn how to break bad habits and form good ones, you will have to change your environment. Spend more time in places that help you develop good habits that stick.
- Track your progress
How will you know whether you are succeeding at learning how to break bad habits?
Since forming new good habits is a gradual process, you could fail to notice how much you and your life have changed over time on this journey.
You may even think your efforts are not paying off; hence feel discouraged to continue trying to change your habits, and thus, stop trying.
As you learn how to break bad habits and form good ones, you need to start tracking your progress. You could do this by using a good habit tracker app and keeping a journal to document how you are doing.
- Reward yourself
As we have already established, learning how to break bad habits and forming good ones is not easy. As such, you will need to find a way to keep yourself motivated to continue trying to form new habits and get rid of bad ones.
Rewarding yourself is one way you can celebrate your small wins along this journey and stay motivated. But remember not to pick a reward that negates your previous efforts.
Some ways to reward yourself for breaking bad habits and replacing them with good ones include taking a day off from work, pampering yourself, giving yourself compliments, spending time outdoors, going on a trip, buying yourself a gift, taking yourself out on a date, and sleeping in, among others.
- Hold yourself accountable
Even as you reward yourself for forming good habits and making them stick, you must also remember to hold yourself accountable if you fail to break some bad ones.
Sure, other people and the environment can trigger your bad habits, but you shouldn’t blame them for your failure to make good habits stick.
Your life is your own, and only you should have control over your actions. So, if you break your promise to get rid of bad habits, start by being honest with yourself.
Accept your mistakes and the part you played in your failure to break bad habits and make good ones stick. Afterward, take it upon yourself to change, remove yourself from the situation, or eradicate the things that hold you back.
Failure to hold yourself accountable and making excuses or shifting the blame to others will keep you stuck in life. If you want to learn how to break bad habits and form good ones, it is time you take responsibility for your life.
There are many benefits of getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with new good ones in your personal and professional life. It can be a life-changing experience!
Knowing this, what are you waiting for? Start the process of turning your life around today by using the above tips to learn how to break bad habits and form good ones.
It will not be easy to break your bad habits, but it is not impossible to achieve this goal either. You only need to stay committed and motivated to get rid of bad habits and develop new good ones.
Instead of expecting immediate results, give yourself time to learn, implement, and adjust to the changes you make to your daily habits. You shall soon break your bad habits and form good ones you can be proud to have.
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