How To Break A Habit And Hack The Habit circle.
Most often, millions of people make new resolutions yearly, this includes new habits they want to form and old habits they would like to break. Some even take it further by ensuring they cover all areas of their lives especially areas that need improvement. But the truth is, the majority of people with New Year’s resolutions return to their old habits a few weeks after making those lofty commitments. They never really break the habits.
Now, how do you break old habits and hack the loop?
There have been a lot of discussions and opinions around about the process of habit breaking, we would take a look at some few tips here to help you succeed.
1. Identify the habit you want to discard or form and understand the reason for your decision
The first step to consider here is to know what exactly you want to break from and be true to yourself. Make it a personal decision. It should come from your mind. You won’t achieve the true results you require if you are being under any external influence. Once you have identified this genuinely, then you are one way to go.
2. Identify a new habit you would like to replace the old habit with.
Last year, I told myself I was not going to be among the group of people who resolve to break old positive or form new positive habits and don’t. I decided to research and reach out to friends who have been successful with the above. The majority of them identified that creating a substitute will help you to discard an old habit and form a new one.
If eating junk food is a habit you wish to discard, you can simply hack that habit loop by replacing it with eating mashed potato or other food that are of course not junks.
3. Set Realistic Goals
Set a SMART goal on how you plan to achieve the above. You probably have heard so much about goal setting. It is one trick that has worked for many persons, but we sometimes do not get it right.
It is one thing to set goals and another to set “realistic” goals. Say you want to quit smoking as a habit, don’t expect to stop smoking the next day. Rather, try to see how you can reduce your intake daily or weekly basis. Little by little, if you create a feasible plan and stick to it, you could hack the habit circle .
4. Get an accountability partner or circle.
An accountability partner eliminates the time and effort you spend on sidetracking events. He/she can support you and get you back on track to achieve your goal.
Check among your circle of friends and find one who is more disciplined than you as an accountability partner. Don’t be too scared to ask for help from people you trust.
5. Have a positive mindset and be flexible with your plans
Hey friend, cut yourself some slack! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You may have heard of the myth that it takes 21 days to break a habit. But habit forming is a painstaking process that requires more than the passage of 21 days. Many factors come into play when we decide to hack the loop.
Though some researchers concluded that forming a new habit requires an average of 66 days. So, take it easy on yourself, maintain a positive mindset, and be flexible with your plans.
6. Never give up on your goal especially when it seems you are yet to achieve your goal.
One of my major addiction and habit I needed to break was to cut down on my intake of carbonated drink (soft drink). I was addicted to this drink especially on days when the weather is hot.
You can imagine that feeling that comes with sipping some chilled carbonated drink. The taste of the drink is a calming relief to your parched throat and it feels a delicious aroma that warms your soul.
It was awesome at first but became an addiction and habit that I found it difficult to break. I was getting overweight and I knew that I had to put a deliberate stop to my carbon intake.
Although at first, it was a struggle, I was able to break the addiction. I decided to substitute my urge for soda with chilled drinking water. After all, water is a drink, right? (lol). I am now an ardent fan of chilled water and I only take carbonated drink once monthly as a treat.
It is time for you to take control
A popular author, Wayne Dyer once said that… “healthy habits are learned in the same way as unhealthy ones – through practice”. To form new habits and change existing habits, you must practice, practice, and practice.
Making New Year resolutions alone won’t erase the long-term memories of old habits.
The same way I was able to break my addiction, you also can. Feel free to reach out to me.
I know this article was helpful, or was it not? lol. tell me in the comment session.
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READ ALSO: 10-bad-habits-you-need-to-quit-right-now
Written by: Violet Fanseh