Mentorship August 4, 2016
We all have those little embarrassing habits, whether or not they do us any good. They can be vices, such as smoking, or something as simple as always having that cheeseburger instead of packing lunch from home. The problem with this, however, is that the original gratification we once felt often becomes negative. But even if we know these vices aren’t helping our lives, we still maintain those habits because they make us feel comfortable in the moment.
There is a way to end the cycle, though. Just as there are ways to train you into a habit, there are ways to train yourself out of it. Here are five ways to get rid of the bad habits plaguing your life.
Although it may seem redundant, it’s important to acknowledge the habit. If you identify and acknowledge it as something that doesn’t serve you, then you are more likely change it.
What, exactly, is the habit? What are the parts of it that are helping shape your character? Break the habit down to its basic parts as an action. What is causing this habit? Which situations cause it?
Once you’ve isolated and dissected the negative effects of your habit, then you have to start the eradication process. Take yourself out of the situations that keep triggering it or get rid of the objects you keep using with it.
As you remove the “trigger,” make sure to attach some kind of consequence or reward for whenever you make progress or digress. This short-term reward or consequence will negate the urge to perform the habit.
With the short-term consequence or reward system, make sure to be aware of the long-term effects of your habits. It’s important to ensure that you’re well informed about why you want to stop the habit, because even if you stopped rewarding yourself long ago, you will still know why the habit is harmful.
All information pulled from the articles “Breaking Bad Habits: A Dynamic Perspective on Habit Formation and Change” by Wander Jager, and “The Psychology of Habit,” by Katharine Murdock.
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