8 Steps To Break Bad Habits

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Life

Habits are part of life. Some behaviors get locked in and become automatic. These may be good or bad habits. Even though you may not admit it, bad habits that range from inconvenient ones to seriously threatening ones have inculcated your life. 

How can you break a bad habit?

You may want to change. You also know that you need change, but you resist. It is because you are in your comfort zone. Here are a few steps to break bad habits and stop their reinforcement.

1. Become aware of your habits

The first step is to be aware of your negative behaviors.  Try to find out what causes this automatic behavior and also those behaviors which you want to change. If you know what is behind those behaviors which contribute to bad habits, you can understand the triggers and can plan to resolve those.

2. Create a plan  –

Make a plan that involves goals for behavioral change. It should include strategies for minimizing habit triggers. A plan will help you break down unwanted bad habits, creating a new pattern in your behavior.

break the goals to improve bad habits
Break the goals into smaller steps

3. Take it slow and make small changes

It is known that making a better habit is quite harder but breaking a bad one is much harder. Try to focus on one small habit at a time and trick yourself into changing that behavior. These might make a big difference in the long run.

4. Visualize the success

Imagine yourself breaking the bad habit and indulging in desired behaviors. Practice this in your mind. Imagine a situation, where you are tempted to engage in performing a bad habit, but you chose not to do it. You chose the better option. This will help you reinforce positive behavior patterns. 

5. Change your environment –  

The surroundings around you can become a trigger for your bad habits. You may not have even noticed these. Change your scenery and see if the bad habits become less tempting. An example: Keep the junk food at a place that is quite less accessible and keep the healthy food in the front. This way, you can control the urge to eat junk food.

6. Try to replace them with good ones

All of the habits have the same characteristics. Habits are created when a behavior is rewarded. You need to change the reward associated with that. Try an alternative action that is not boring. Do something which you want to do and love to do. This obviously results in a positive outcome, and it will be easier for you to make the switch.

7. Be patient with yourself

You cannot break the habits overnight. It takes time. Don’t worry if the behavioral changes do not happen instantly. Be patient as it takes a while for your brain to adjust to a new type of behavior. 

motivation to break bad habits
Be patient and confident

8. Have an alternate plan

You repeat the bad habits as these are loops. You need to disrupt this system and replace the bad habits with good ones. Know what triggers the bad habits; try to rewire the brain until the new habits are established. If not, you need to have another plan to break it. 

Finally, as you follow these steps, you realize the behavioral change. Know that this is a journey. There are chances that you might fall back into bad habits, but have faith in yourself that you will do it and achieve success in your life—download Joyscore App for more tips on wellness and healthy living.

Dr. Bob Singhal

Professor Bhupendra 'Bob' Singhal, has taught creativity by joy and right-brain thinking, is a renowned international architect, won major design competitions, has over 70 awards, publications, and media mentions, and served as President of the American Institute of Architects South Bay. In 2011, in his book Joy in Health and Happiness: Your Optimal Path to Success, Professor Singhal wrote about the transformative power of joy and helped readers learn to enhance their daily experience of it.


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