How To Break A Bad Habit & Change Your Life

Did you know that the average grown up makes roughly 35,000 decisions, every day!

…EVERY DAY!

Given how busy your head must be every day, it’s no wonder that many of these decisions are made on auto pilot..

They are what you’ve learned, over time.

They become ingrained and repeated.

They become ‘Habits’.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, if you repeatedly do something it will turn into a habit.

Habits influence our days, weeks, months and lives. And yet how often do you take the time to review, analyse, change or improve your habits?

Chances are you’ll catch yourself in the process of your bad habits.

Or maybe regretting indulging in a bad habit after it’s happened.

And yet, these habits don’t go away. Simply being aware of a bad habit is NOT enough.

Which is why we wanted to share some advice with you on breaking bad habits…

Start The Process of Breaking Away From Your Bad Habits

The way to start is by recognising what they are. As already mentioned, you probably know some of them, now it’s to go further…

It’s time to start a habit journal. Over the course of a few weeks write each of your habits down including a bit of detail such as

Where, when, why, what, who… these details will prove useful as you start to try and break the habit.

Once you have them written down, admit and accept them.  We all have bad habits so don’t feel bad about this part. And in fact you’re doing better than most as you’re consciously working on them already just by reading this post, so keep going!

After a few weeks look at your list and ask, which habit would you most like to change first?

Which one is causing you the most pain? Which one, if removed, would benefit you the most?

Take some time and get down to just one habit.

Once you’ve decided which habit you want to focus on first, it’s time for the most important step…

Decide what you’re going to replace your bad habit with.

That’s right, we don’t want you to go cold turkey and just try cut out the bad habit leaving an empty void.

Instead, have a think about what positive habit you could replace the bad one habit with.

For example you could replace ‘checking’ your emails with reading 5 pages of a business book…

Whatever your bad habit was, replace it with something else that will help rather than hinder you!

Same Time, Same Place & Sandwich It

Now you know the habit you’re going to replace it with…Repeat, repeat, repeat it, every time, same time, same place.

Same Time – This helps your mind remember.

Same Place – The mind ‘anchors’ that place in your mind as where you do this thing.

…….with a Sandwich! Sandwich you say?

It’s a metaphor for layering your new habit, in between habits you already do.  Simply pop the new habit in between two things you already habitually do.

The who, what, where, when why – you can also look at those details of each habit and ask how can you make it easier to break this habit.

Do you only do the habit when with certain people? Or in certain situation? Maybe it’s time to stop seeing those people who enable the habit or perhaps it’s time to stop going to that place where you end up engaging in that habit.

The Key Things To Remember When You Want To Break A Habit

#1 Allow time for change. Rome wasn’t built in a day.Habits take time to become embedded and therefore the reverse is also true.

#2 Be kind to yourself.  It’s not just about Willpower!

#3 Repeat : Repeat : Repeat

#4 Be consistent.  Whatever the schedule be it daily, weekly or monthly…stick to it.

#5 The Who, What, Where, Why & Why’s – What other steps can you take to help break this habit.

So, now the big question is…

What habit would you most benefit from changing?

You have the process to follow above and we’ll leave you with this question…

How would your life be different if you consistently replaced your bad habits with good ones?

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Post by YourVirtualMentors

Written by Mandy Ward | Edited by Paul Bassi | Based on Virtual Class by Tamsin Astor.

Post based on advice from a YVM Virtual Class… Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. You can access this virtual class recording as a member of the YVM Small Business Accelerator.

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