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How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One)

How to break a bad habit

  • Choose a substitute for your bad habit
  • Cut out as many triggers as possible. 
  • Surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding and avoid negative self-talk.
  • Plan for failure and find things that can help you bounce back when you make a mistake.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One)

How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One)

https://jamesclear.com/how-to-break-a-bad-habit

jamesclear.com

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Key Ideas

What causes bad habits

Most of the time, bad habits are simply a way of dealing with stress and boredom.

Everything from biting your nails to overspending on a shopping spree to drinking every weekend to wasting time on the internet can be a simple response to stress and boredom.

"Benefits" of bad habits

All of the habits that you have right now — good or bad — are in your life because they provide a benefit to you, even if they are bad for you in other ways.

And because bad habits provide some type of benefit in your life, it's very difficult to simply eliminate them. Instead, you need to replace a bad habit with a new habit that provides a similar benefit.

How to break a bad habit

  • Choose a substitute for your bad habit
  • Cut out as many triggers as possible. 
  • Surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding and avoid negative self-talk.
  • Plan for failure and find things that can help you bounce back when you make a mistake.

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Set Better Goals

Be specific on how you’ll implement goals into your daily life. Examining how you’ve responded to the situation in the past and determining what you can do to avoid reverting to the old h...

Have a Better Reason For Quitting

Even if you replace a “bad” habit with a better one, sometimes the original vice will have a stronger biological “reward” than its substitute. This is where the importance of having an intrinsic motivation comes into play.

If that is the case, find as many benefits to the change as you can and try to use them as extra motivation.

Replace a Bad Habit With a Good One

The more you suppress your thoughts, the more likely you are to think about that thought or even revert back to that bad habit. Instead of trying to stop doing something,  it’s easier to do something else.

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Habits define your energy levels
Habits define your energy levels

Tine is not the basis for productivity. Energy is.

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Sleep is the foundation of our energy

Poor sleep means you will start to underperform.

Research says 7-8 hours are pretty much mandatory if you’re going to stay cognitively sharp in the long-run.

Napping benefits

Even if it may feel lazy, napping has a range of cognitive benefits.

This is particularly true if you’re doing a lot of learning since the short burst of sleep can help with memory.

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The Habit Loop
The Habit Loop

The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.

Together, these fo...

5 primary ways that a new habit can be triggered
  • Cue 1: Time - Most common way to trigger a new habit
  • Cue 2: Location - Most powerful driver of mindless habits and also the least recognized
  • Cue 3: Preceding Event - Many habits are a response to something else that happens in your life
  • Cue 4: Emotional State - emotional state is a common cue for bad habits
  • Cue 5: Other People - people you surround yourself with can play a role in your habits and behaviors.
Anticipate Setbacks

Behavior change is hard. Slip-ups are common, so when they happen, don't beat yourself up or retreat into negative self-talk. Instead, anticipate your failures and plan for them.

Commit To Change And Tweak as You Go

Make achievable commitments to test new routines and approach it as a series of experiments.

Try your new routine for a while and tweak it or switch to a new one if it doesn’t suit you.

Explore Alternatives

Once you have a clear breakdown of what's happening at each stage of your habit loop, brainstorm healthier routines that will produce the results you want.

Create a list of options of alternatives that might provide comparable reward to the one you are trying to eliminate. Focus on new routines that will help you decompress after a stressful day (the cue) and leave you in a positive frame of mind to get freelance work done (reward).

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How Friction Can Help You

In tech, friction refers to the steps a customer needs to take to perform a certain action. Too many steps and your funnel starts to leak.

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To Quit Bad Habits
  • Grab a piece of paper and write down all the habits that you think are unhealthy and want to get rid of. Once you have finished, rank them in order. Now start with number #1. Forget the rest for now.
  • Add layers of “friction” to your vices to make it harder for yourself to keep doing them. Keep adding layers of friction of time, money, or both.
Quitting Social Media
  • Remove all social media apps from your phone
  • Change your passwords to something impossible to remember. Save them in a document/cloud
  • Log out after each session.
  • The radical option: Delete your accounts.

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attributed to Aristotle
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
attributed to Aristotle
Confucius
Confucius
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
How to Develop Habits
  • Focus on just one habit, for 30 days.
  • Put it on paper, together with your motivations, obstacles, and strategies for overcoming them.
  • Commit fully, preferably in a public way.
  • Track your progress.
  • Remain publicly accountable — report on your progress each day.
  • Have support for when you falter.
  • Reward small wins.
  • If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

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