How to quit all bad habits at once and replace them with good ones
Our daily actions determine what we are, whether they are good or bad habits. Think about it, what are yours? Where are they taking you?
If you are a smoker, you have probably thought about quitting at least once in your life and searched for ways to quit smoking on your own. But what happened after 4 or 5 days?
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you may have wanted to join the gym or try some home workout. However, laziness may have prevailed over motivation.
From tomorrow I start the diet. Who has never said this sentence? Then we all know how it ended.
These are just examples of bad habits. Although different, we all have them. The good news, however, is that it can be remedied.
In this article, you will learn how to break bad habits and replace them with good ones in 4 steps.
What are bad habits in life?
Research shows that almost half of our daily actions are the result of a habit. We often manage to carry out a task without even thinking about it.
These are cognitive shortcuts, ie actions that the brain has already memorized. Therefore, it does not require additional energy to perform them.
However, the brain does not distinguish the good ones from the bad ones, for your health and personal growth. The brain doesn’t notice if you are smoking a cigarette or exercising. It does not even sense if you are eating healthy food or “junk food”.
For a large part of our lives, we operate on autopilot. However, the direction to take is every single day up to you.
Our habits can be a fundamental weapon for self-realization, but bad habits can be our most feared enemy for success as well.
So, how to replace the harmful ones with the productive ones? Let’s go find out!
How to break up with your bad habits in 4 tips for success
1. Take on awareness
Look at your automatic thoughts or behaviours: which of these are leading you to success? Which ones are driving you away from realization? Just see them without judging yourself, in complete serenity.
What emotions do you feel most frequently? Anxiety? Anger? Fear? How do you usually act accordingly?
Therefore, the first step in changing negative habits is to raise the level of self-awareness (mindfulness).
After all, our life is nothing more than the sum of every single moment we live. The real difference consists in being aware of every moment and not letting everything flows by pretending nothing has happened.
Therefore, take a few minutes each day to be alone in peace, and ask yourself these questions. The benefits you will get, looking at yourself from another perspective, will be surprising. The best time to do this is early in the morning, as soon as you wake up.
Of course, all of this is not enough to change habits, but it is an important and necessary step to get started.
2. Find the triggers of bad habits
Find the habits, positive and otherwise, now we will focus on the negative ones. Think about the triggering cause of an automatic action that you would like to eliminate.
In what moments do you smoke a cigarette? After lunch? After dinner? When are you worried?
When do you eat between meals without feeling hungry? While you feel anxious? Or boredom?
We must start to work concretely on our bad habits from here. The key step is to intervene first on the triggering factors rather than on the action itself.
We more often fall back into our habit patterns when we are stressed, tired or under pressure. Therefore, even a single stress stimulus is enough to induce the brain to take refuge in the simplest actions.
Therefore, since it is impossible to control the events that make us uncomfortable, we can instead adapt our reaction to them.
For example, the next time you feel angry at someone, try breathing deeply with your abdomen for 20 seconds.
Therefore, in the face of a trigger, replacing a negative habit with a positive action is very effective.
3. Surround yourself with inputs that stimulate you to good habits
If you hear 100 times a day that things are bad, what opinion will you be led to formulate about the world?
If you only listen to superficial TV shows, what do you think you will become in the future?
Like it or not, we are destined to blend in with the environment we frequent. Culture, people, objects, food, lifestyle.
Therefore, one action we can do is to adapt the environment to how we would like to be, not vice versa.
For example, if your main problem is a weakness for sweets, don’t buy them. Not having them on hand will help reduce the desire to eat them.
Do you want to train continuously? Find a friend who already does it routinely, and join him.
Also, surround yourself with people you respect and appreciate, hang out with those who have already achieved their goal. Conversely, distance yourself from those who have the same bad habits as you, and especially from negative people.
Social media, youtube, songs, books, companies: right here we must intervene to adapt our environment to how we would like to be.
4. Change the pair of glasses with which you see the world
If you see healthy eating only as torture used to avoid cardiovascular diseases, it will hardly become a real habit. So where is your mind headed?
About what you have or what you miss? Where are you good, or where others are better than you? About problems or solutions? On the action or on the reaction?
Where we focus our attention is essential to be able to change a habit.
It represents the pair of glasses with which we see the world, and everyone has a different one.
Therefore, to achieve results you must also prepare the point of view towards your target. So, if your pair of glasses doesn’t help you get what you want, change it.
Gratitude, kindness, empathy: these are all qualities that allow you to see things from another perspective, fresher and more positive.
They can be trained and cultivated slowly, and gradually get them into our way of being.
How to quit bad habits and start good habits
We have just seen the 4 actions to quit bad habits and start good ones. As you may have noticed, they do not consist of anything artificial and complicated.
In summary, we cannot control every situation, but we can roll up our sleeves and do our best.
Change can happen in 2 ways: slowly or never.
So which one do you choose?