3 Simple Steps to Quit a Bad Habit
Do you have any bad habits?
I am challenging you to break a habit the second you wake up tomorrow. You have control over every single thing you do, so act on it!
I was a smoker until one Saturday night while camping, two years ago. I told myself I will not be a smoker tomorrow. When Sunday came, I was reluctantly facing my first day as a non-smoker in 6 years. Making that change in my life translated into many other resulting changes. Like getting in the best shape of my life, and learning to manage my finances.
How are habits formed?
Our brains are fantastic of taking the thinking out of doing. When you perform a task enough, your brain will learn how to do that without devoting as much computing power to the task. Think of the first time you drove to your job. It probably involved listening to directions, vigilantly watching for your next turn, and analyzing the drivers around you to avoid killing someone. After you have made the same drive enough, you’ve probably had mornings or evenings where you couldn’t remember a single detail about the drive and you wonder how you made it home alive. The same principle can be applied to habits.
When you smoke enough it’s no longer a decision. A cue will tell your brain it’s time to smoke, and before you realize that you’re smoking, you’re already done.
The key is to substitute the action and give yourself a new reward.
3 Tips to break a pesky habit:
- Identify your cue.
Personally I smoked when I was bored, after waking up, after eating, before eating, when I thought of smoking, when I saw someone else smoking… You get the point. By identifying your cues you can ask yourself why you do the following action.
- Substitute the action
You will have to substitute the action (your bad habit) with something else, hopefully something positive! However, you need to give yourself a clear reward that follows the action, otherwise it will be more difficult to follow through with a substitute.
- Just stop doing it. It’s that easy.
What ever it is, just stop it! It may sound funny, but the real trick to dropping a bad habit is to simply stop doing it. There is always a reason to continue smoking but the truth is, “just one more smoke” is exactly how you fail to quit.
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