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Creating An “If-Then” Plan

Creating An “If-Then” Plan

It gives you an automatic response to react to your cravings and makes it easier to replace a bad habit with a good one: 

  • Identify the scenario that usually triggers your bad habit.
  • Specify a different response to the trigger. Ideally, this should be a good habit that would replace and prevent you from falling into the temptation.
  • Combine steps 1 and 2 into an “if-then” format.

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The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.
The Role Of Perseverance On Change

Bad habits don’t go away overnight. But, you can use strategies to give you that extra boost of self-confidence and self-control required to change.

Understand that sometimes you will fail and sometimes you’ll succeed. But no matter how long it takes to fail and get back up again, your patience and perseverance will soon pay off.

Practice Being Aware Of Your Triggers

Mindfulness practice helps to weaken the link between the craving and the bad behaviour: 

  • Next time you’re hit with an urge to do the bad habit, take a step back and be aware of the sensations of the trigger in your body.
  • Take note of where you were and when the cravings started, as well as who were you with and what happened leading to it.
  • Keep a short journal of your progress and take quick notes of the events that take place on the days you act on the bad habit versus the days you don’t.
Use “I Don’t” Instead Of “I Can’t”

Research has found that using the phrase “I can’t” results in decreased self-control when compared to using the words “I don’t”.

When trying to break bad habits say “I don’t [bad habit]” instead of “I can’t [bad habit]” .

The Mechanics Of Habit Formation

Our habits are driven by a 3-part loop in sequence: trigger (the stimulus that starts the habit), routine (the doing of the habit and behaviour itself) and reward (the benefit associated with the behaviour).

Each repetition of this behavior pattern, it becomes more ingrained in your brain until it eventually becomes automatic—a habit. 

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Know Your Cues

Habits have three main parts: a cue, a routine and a reward. Cues are the context where you tend to engage in the behavior and knowing your triggers can help you avoid them.

Capitalizing on major life changes can also help break an unhealthy habit. Shifts in lifestyle can actually be the ideal opportunity for eliminating a vice as you don’t have those same cues.

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IDEAS

By classifying specific behaviors as things you will never do again, you put certain actions into the realm of “I don’t” versus “I can’t.”

Saying “I don’t” rather than “I can’t” provides greater “psychological empowerment.”

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.