More than 75% of the smokers on the planet intend to quit smoking but only a marginal percentage of them management to do so. Breaking bad habits like smoking, being late, gossiping, negative thinking, masturbation, resisting change, being anxious and overeating are no more a myth. The reason that serves to develop the rigidity in one’s nature is the “cognitive script” that is embedded in one’s subconscious. The cognitive script is based on the previous experiences of the person which triggers when we encounter the specific situations. The major reason that breaking bad habits is that they are enjoyable activities. Human nature is always prone towards activities with pleasure. Therefore, one has to play with one’s mind in order to adopt or reject an action.
Strategies for Breaking Bad Habits:
A habit can’t be killed but can be replaced with some positive behaviors. But, this is a quite time-consuming process. On average, a repetition of at least two months is required for an action to become a habit. In some cases, this span may expand up to 100 days. But, if a bad habit serves to cause hindrance in your career it is well worth spending some time to suppress it. Never try to fit one size for all the bad habits. Different habits may require different strategies or a combination of few.
1. Identifying the Cause:
In order to avoid the bad habits,one has to take a deep breath and recall the previous instances when the unpromising actions were committed. Take a paper and pen and work out the prior routines, conditions or scenario which triggered the bad habits in the past. Being aware of these causes can help understanding and breaking bad habits. These prior scenarios are actually the matters that have to be avoided to keep you from committing them.
2. Reward or Fine for each offense:
A motivation is often required for achieving a milestone. What can be more motivating than money in the materialistic world? Make a “promise pot” and agree with yourself to put five or ten bugs every time you either commit or avoid the bad habit. Punish yourself harder by putting more and more money every time you break the promise. There are some other ways as well. For example, you can avoid the number of coffees you intake in a week corresponding to the number of days you miss to be on time at the office. Also, you can reward yourself for being on time by heaving a healthy brunch at your favorite café. This is something you might enjoy.
3. Don’t build the Rome in a Day:
It is prescribed to sum up the efforts and make tiny changes in the routine. Abrupt changes and commitments hardly yield promising changes. Try to be patient with your routines and try focusing on one habit at a time. The small changes can be like reducing one cigarette in a day, using low-fat milk in the tea, reducing one pack of sugar, and lowering the number of meetings with the person you often gossip. One’s again it is better to use a paper and a pen to craft a chart to gauge the extent to which you are abiding by the self-commitment.
4. Engage Others:
Look around and work out the most trustable person from the friends, colleagues or siblings. Try telling about your commitment to breaking bad habits to that trusted person. Encourage him/her to keep on asking the progress of the commitment. Share your goals and achievements. Also, share if you struggle to keep the promise. The sense of accountability is essential for augmenting the level of motivation.
5. Change the environment:
The ecosystem of one’s life really helps breaking bad habits. The environment serves to develop and adaptive system that keeps on improving our routines. For example, putting some chart and notes on the wall of the office cabin which reminds us about the bad habits would be effective. Try visiting places that are close towards nature. A substantial level of cleanliness around would make it hard for you to make dirt. Use the alarms in the Smartphone. Change the wallpaper of your desktop. Hang some attractive paintings that would help distracting from the bad habits.
6. Try Hating the Habits:
Whether it is nail biting, smoking or gossiping, masses of literature is available reminding the cons of these practices. Knowing and focusing the demerits and setbacks of the practices are handy in breaking bad habits. Try reforming yourself considering the positive aspects of rejecting the bad habits and reminds you of the negative aspects. The aftermaths of our habits can affect the physical and mental health of us and the people around. This is the only place where we recommend the readers to think like a hater and develop some negative attitude towards the bad practices.