How to Change Bad Habits into Good Ones
In the last articles, we have been discussing about habits, how they are important and how to make good habits. In this article, we are going to learn how to change bad habits and turn them into good ones.
Are you someone that wants to change his/her life? Well, changing your bad habits is an integral part of it.
Changing a habit is no easy task. We need how to do it. Fortunately, with the advent of the researches on Psychology, we have learned a lot of ways on changing your bad habits and turn them into good ones. We are going to learn what I have gathered throughout the years and write them today
In this article, I am going to give a step by step guide on how you could change your bad habits, and turn it into new ones. I will also include in here a method that will make you know yourself more. Keep reading!
The Habit Loop
To know how to change a habit, we must first know the parts or how a habit is made. A habit loop consist of three parts- Namely: the cue, routine and the reward. We will discuss each of them now.
Cue, Routine, Reward
The cue is usually the trigger to your habit. For example, for some people, when they feel stressed out or nervous, they bite their nails. The cue is the stress. There are people who smoke when they drink alcohol, the cue is the alcohol. You go out with your friends and drink, cue is going with friends.
The cue is the trigger to the habit. We need to know this in order for us get to the core of a habit. We will use them later.
The routine is what you do after a cue. So as for the example above, you bite your nail, go smoking, go drinking alcohol and so on.
The reward is another important aspect of a habit because if not for the reward, there is no habit. Usually this is the one that is hard to get track of but to generalize, rewards usually is the increase of dopamine which make you happier. However, there is a more specific reason for each of these habits and we would also learn more of it soon.
Changing a Habit
1. Take Note of Your Habit
As always, we need to take note of our habit. The easiest to detect is the routine. However, you need to get the cue and the reward of this.
For example: You want to save money however, you always find yourself going to Starbucks every day even after that, you have no more savings to keep. Tired of this? You are losing money and at the same time, becoming fat. Is it your fault? Do you realize that it is done automatically? It is not your fault. You just need to fix your habit.
Let us break it down. Maybe I go to Starbucks every day because I meet my friends there and interact with them. I want to socialize with the people around me that’s why I go to Starbucks to see them.
Is the cue you are hungry? No it’s not, it’s that you want to have some social interaction. Your reward is that you become happy by socializing with people. So let us see
- Cue= wants to socialize
- Routine= go to Starbucks and socialize with friends
- Reward= Socializing with people make you happy
That’s how you take note of your habit. You have to write it down. I suggest you remove all distraction, and put an alarm for 30 minutes, after that you just write it down on a piece of paper for fewer distractions. You need to concentrate in this task. 30 minutes is all I am asking.
2. Notice the Cue and Try to Remove them
This means, in the example above, alright you have the cue again. You want to socialize, ask your friends to just come to your house. You can even go to their house and talk to them. You can even call them, remove yourself from the loop.
More example is when you smoke when you drink alcohol. Then you can just remove all the alcohol in your house. Make it hard to drink alcohol. Addicted to social media? Try removing your apps and you need to login every time you go to social media. I tried it and it definitely works. Can’t wake up early in the morning? Put your alarm on a place that you will hard a time to reach. You will surely be annoyed as you remove your alarm and you will have no choice but to wake up
There will be times that you will not take notice of the cue, it is a habit after all. It is alright, that is normal. Don’t be frustrated. Just remove them when you notice in. It will gradually get better.
In my case, I noticed that I go to Facebook instantly when I feel bored. The cue is boredom so what I did is to keep myself busy and tada! You found my blog, I only go to Facebook for chats and maybe 15 minutes browse since I have a lot of articles to share with you guys! Stay tuned!!
3. Get the Reward using Other Ways
Rewards can be achieved by other ways. That way, you can skip the loop itself, in time you will be able to build a new habit by this method. Like the example above, the reward you have is socializing with people so you can just talk to you friends and there you go. Cravings solved!
Another example is when people smoke when they are stressed because they want that surge of dopamine. Why not just go for an exercise instead. It will be hard at first, but once you build that habit. Your need for the dopamine increase from cigarette smoking will be replace by exercising. Cool huh? 2 birds in one stone.
4. Do not Get Frustrated
Some people give up easily. They do this method and they realize that they slipped up so they give up easily. Please no, not like that. We do fail, making mistakes doesn’t make us a bad person, it makes us human. Learn from it and you do better next time.
Imagine yourself driving, and then you got out of the lane for a while because you lost concentration, will you just say that “Screw it, I got out of the lane so I should drive now on the other lane.” Feel funny now? It’s like that, it is inevitable to make mistakes, but always do you best to get on track again. You will surely get better, I promise.
5. Surround Yourself with People that will Support You
This method is usually underappreciated. You see, the 5 people you usually go out with will define who you are. That is just the way of life. You want to remove your bad habit of drinking? Maybe you drink to socialize with your friend. Instead, how about you go out with your other friends who isn’t drinking alcohol.
People need people, You need help. Do not be afraid to seek help. If you think you really have a problem, it is not wrong to go to a specialist nor it is wrong to talk to a friend. You can do it! I know you can!
The source I used for this Article is the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, you will definitely learn a lot more from his book. If you want to learn more about habits, it is a must that you read his book. Link can be found here
Remember that if you want to change your bad habit, Note it down. Know what it really is. Hitting a target is easier when you have a target. Imagine playing darts without a board. You see what I mean? That’s the first step. The second is to tackle them and do not forget that it is alright to fail sometimes. That is normal. Do not also forget that there are people around that can help you.
If you are interested, these are the articles I also made that is related and supplementary to this article, I am sure you will find something on them too.
“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.” ―Lewis Howes
Always commit to change your life in positive ways and changing your bad habits are part of them. Do not get frustrated, I know we do. I also felt the same but I am sure with perseverance, the reward will surely come.
Stay Motivated Guys, I know you can do it.
Jason, Chillax Easy
Source for this Article
I would like to thank the book by Charles Duhigg, his book really helped me in my journey to make myself better and I was able to learned a lot from his book so I can write some points in the article here.
“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg