“Habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience.”According to the American Journal of Psychology (1903).
As an individual, there are lots of habits that we possess, some may be good while some are just awful but in all, a habit is something that is generally bad because it keeps you in a circle.
Habits are naturally known as a routine of behavior or acts that are been repeated regularly and also tends to occur unconsciously.
Also, Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks.
One great thing about habit is that it is not a stigma so it can be broken this is why in this article, I am going to show you 12 ways to break a habit in 21 days and be free from them.
17 Ways To Break A Habit In 21 Days Part 1: Week 1
1. Decide on a replacement behavior.
If your goal is to develop a new habit then your replacement behavior will be the goal itself. This step is very important when you are trying to break a habit. If you want to stop a behavior, you must have a superior behavior to put in its place. If you don’t, the old behavior pattern will return.
2. Identify your Habit:
The most important thing to do is to identify that you have a habit. It takes the time to identify your habits because as an individual you might possess 2 or more habits and won’t even know they are there so take the time to identify them.
Ask your friends about what you do that they think is like a routine for you, some will tell you and if they do, those are your habits.
Now that you have identified them, it is time to isolate. When I mean isolate, I mean put the habits in order of priority, if they were been put on a scale which one would you see as urgent and more important to tackle at the moment.
Isolation is very important because it helps you take your habits down one at a time.
4.Define and scrutinize the habits:
Most habits are good while some are outrageous and very bad. At this point, still in the first week and maybe the fifth or sixth day of our steps, you probably want to define the habits and know which one is bad and those that are good.
This is very important so you don’t stop doing what people always commend you for because you one to stop a habit. After isolation, you probably must have written them down.
Take time to define them and scrutinize each. Try making a simple list of what your habit gives you. Try to be honest with yourself while making the list.
5. Identify the trigger and reinforcement:
Very important before we start breaking the habits from week 2. You must identify what triggers the habit and how they are being reinforced. Sometimes most habits come as a result of friends influence, while others come as a result of beliefs according to ― Mahatma Gandhi.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.”
So at this point find out how the habit is be triggered or formed, and then we can start working on stopping the bad ones.
17 Ways To Break A Habit In 21 DaysPart 2: Week 2
6. One at a time Rule:
This is the rule that will most likely work if you must break the habits. You can break all at a time that was why you had to go through the identifying, isolation and defining process so you know which comes first.
According to WikiHow “You may feel empowered by your decision to bust all your bad behaviors — and that’s good! But don’t put the cart before the horse. Stick to busting one habit first.”
7. Forget about mistakes and setbacks:
if you must change, you should understand that you will make mistakes and if you keep considering the mistakes, you will not make headway. If it happens that you fell off the train and accidentally indulge in your habit again, don’t give up all hope.
Pull yourself right back up and get back on track. Minor setbacks will happen — pretending that they won’t is just not being honest with yourself. Instead, learn from your setbacks and try to ensure that they won’t happen again.
8. Avoid being in a place or situation where your habits trigger or dominate:
This is very important to note. Because habits are formed or triggered by something, so if you find what that is and stop putting yourself in that situations, then you find out that you can really do without that habit.
9. Stop enjoying your habits:
IF you can do this then you can stop it. One great reason why habits seem difficult to stop being that we sometimes enjoy them even though we know that they are not good. So if you can stop and condition yourself not to enjoy them then you can start stopping them.
10. Learn the “How to stop it”:
I use this word learn the “how to stop it” because there are lots of habits out there and I can mention them all in this article. So if you know the kind of habit you have got, then you have to learn how to stop it.
An example is smoking, drinking, addiction etc. you can learn how to stop each and every habit as long as you can read. so if you know your habit, learn the how to stop it.
17 Ways To Break A Habit In 21 Days Part 3: Week 3
This probably is the final week for our exercise on about 12 little-known ways to break a habit in 21 days
Start by tracking when you do the habits again. As much as possible keep a note of when you try doing any of the habits again, you can walk around with a handy jotter to write them down including the month, day and hour and situation if possible.
12. Pay attention to your triggers:
Behavior patterns don’t exist independently. Often, one habit is associated with another part of your regular routine. For instance, in the snacking example, the trigger may be late night television or reading. You automatically grab a bag of chips while you watch. Many people who smoke automatically light up after eating. Think about when and why you do the thing you want to quit.
Always pay close attention to that which triggers your habits. If possible, talk to your friends about your habits and how you are trying to stop them. This will help you ask them for reminder anytime you want to bump into the habit again.
An example, let’s say you love pulling out a smoke from a friend’s cigarette and that is your trigger, you can try telling your friend about how you are trying to quit smoking and that he should help remind you of it each time he notices you pulling up the stick close to his for a light.
Right this will do just to work for you and might as well help you friend stop entirely so no one smokes again around you.
13. Be patient and keep reading about your habits:
It’s obvious you cannot break or change your habits overnight, so you have to be patient and be kind to yourself while you work it through. While you are working on it, talk to people about it, they might probably have an answer to the how you are seeking.
You can’t do it all by yourself so be open to people and also welcome suggestions. Also, find books go to the internet look for people who have been there and are now over it search for testimonies and keep reading about them. I bet you, yours will definitely stop as you walk through.
14. Post reminders to yourself.
You can do this by leaving yourself notes in the places where the behavior usually occurs. Or you can leave yourself a message on the mirror, refrigerator, computer monitor or some other place where you will see it regularly. You can also have a family member or co-worker use a particular phrase to remind you of your goal.
15. Get help and support from someone.
This is kind of obvious. Any job is easier with help. It works even better if you can form a partnership with someone who shares the same goal.
16. Write daily affirmations.
Write your phrase or sentence in the present tense (as if it were already happening), and write it ten times a day for twenty-one days. This process helps make your goal a part of your subconscious, which will not only remind you to practice the new behavior, but it also keeps you focused and motivated.
17. Reward yourself for making progress at set time intervals.
Focus on your goal one day at a time, but give yourself a small treat at one, three and six months. The rewards don’t have to be big or expensive, and you should try to make it something that’s associated in some way with the goal. Doing this provides you with both incentive and extra motivation.
Following these steps is no guarantee of success of course. Depending on the habit it may take several tries to finally make the change. But if you stick with it, you can do it. Good Luck.