How To Break Bad Habits
- by XpatAthens
- Monday, 06 July 2020
All of us, young and old, have many positive habits. We are happy and proud, and we actively promote them, especially to our children. At the same time, though, we also have "bad habits"; habits that we don't want anyone to know about, not our friends, not our acquaintances, not our partners, and especially not our children. Some of these "bad" habits are minor, while others are dangerous for ourselves and those around us. From the most common, "I throw my dirty clothes on the floor and forget to pick them up" to "I'm addicted to alcohol, but I don't admit it."
Most of us understand what we need to change to be happier, improve our relationship with our family, or have a better job. The problem is that we believe we need hard work and a strong will to achieve this. And that's where we stop. The key here is to work smarter but not necessarily harder. In other words, we need to create the circumstances that will help us bring the desired outcome again and again, so it becomes habitual.
How do we do that? By creating a different and engaging routine. That's the secret to changing our "bad" behaviors. A routine is a sequence of actions that gives us a "reward" that makes us feel better. For example, every Friday after work, I go home, put on my pj's, lay on the couch, eat crisps, and watch a movie. Or every morning, I unlock my car, open the driver's door, put my things on the back seat, put my seatbelt on, put my foot on the brake, the key to the engine, and start. My mind has stored this sequence of actions and repeats it precisely every time (routine). This sequence applies to both good and bad habits.
It is necessary to make changes in our environment to be able to encourage more good habits. For example, to take care of your diet, prepare a plate of fresh fruit, and empty your cupboards of crisps. To reduce smoking, it helps to create obstacles that make it harder for us to buy cigarettes. By working smartly and enthusiastically, we can change our habits.