A popular saying among our folks states “Old habits die hard”. This maxim has held down a lot of people from trying to attempt a change in their old bad habits. The belief that no one easily parts with old habits has made people linger in them until the habits destroy or cause a fatal consequence on their health.
Everyone is a creature of habit. A young girl who starts the habit of waking early to prepare for school even before Mama comes knocking at the door of her room has started to cultivate the good habit of waking early for school. Soon, she will start to wake early for work and appointments as she continues to grow. That is how a lifestyle is formed.
The continuous practice of habit formation can become a lifestyle over a short or long period of time. Getting rid of old habits might be tougher than expected. It is like parting ways with a dear friend, I must say. But still, it is very much possible and easy.
People find it difficult to let go of old habits because they tend to do it the wrong way. Behavioral psychologists have stated in recent research that “people desire to substitute old habits for new ones through the means of resolution and nothing else.”
It takes more than a resolution to make the substitute. I have taken time to identify the easy and practical ways to get rid of your old bad habits.
How do I get rid of my bad habits?
“I know how to get lose weight; how to exercise; how to eat healthy food, but I find it difficult to abide by these habits.”
#1 Identify the reason for a change
Why do you need to hit the gym? Why do you have to reduce the intake of soda? Why do you need to adjust your meal plan? Why do you have to wake up earlier or make new friends?
If you cannot find candid answers to any of these questions, then you are not ready to let go of your old habits for new ones.
To imagine a need to change an attitude or habit is the same as the necessity to change such attitude or habit. The fact that your attention is awakened to the need to change might be an important premonition.
When you identify these reasons, then you are one step closer to parting ways with the old habits.
#2 Recognize the trigger of the old bad habit
I have discovered that when most people get so tired, probably after work, they desperately desire to consume any sugary content that comes their way, with little regard to the condition of their current sugar levels.
Some people eat more than usual when they are alone, or when they are nervous. Other people bite their nails when they are nervous. While others spend most of their time sleeping or playing video games after work or an examination.
Whatever the case may be, identify the trigger. It will be your cue as to why you engage in such habits. In the mentioned instances above, the trigger is NERVOUSNESS, ANGER, BOREDOM, STRESS, LAZINESS, or IGNORANCE. In your case, it might be different or similar. But whatever it may be identify the TRIGGER.
#3 Disrupt the routine
After you have identified the triggers of your old or bad habits, the next action you take is to disrupt and stop the habits you are not pleased with.
When you are alone you eat more than usual, and this has led to your increase in weight and you need to stop, right?
The next time you are alone at home or any place, instead of eating, get an interesting novel to read. It will rather increase your knowledge rather than your body weight. It will be simple because you’ve already identified that your craving for food is usually increased when bored. So, get the books or novels ready to satisfy that craving instead.
The same logic applies to other triggers, instead of giving in to the routine that comes after your trigger, find something more satisfying and engage with it. Instead of biting your fingernails when nervous, why not pocket your hand or fold your arms for good posture instead. That you will look more handsome or pretty.
#4 Stay motivated with good willpower for change
Maintain strong willpower for change in your old habit. This takes you to the first step when you identified the reason you must change. Let this reason be the motivation.
Some people must lose some weight because they want to have a body that fits well into their wedding dresses. Or because they want to secure their dream job with the military or other places.
Others may have to start physical exercise because they must stay fit in other to keep their appointment at work. Some people need to stop biting their fingernails because of the occurring shame it brings to them.
Importantly the major reason should be because it is not healthy to keep your old habit. To have a healthy lifestyle is the best motivation.
#5 Make a reward for yourself
This final step rests the bed and gives you the best drive to get rid of a bad habit and cultivate a new and healthy one. (I don’t understand this sentence)
When you start to incorporate changes to the routine, and you keep your motivation and willpower high, it won’t take much to keep going because your mind will be on the reward.
Your reward should be moderate and logical to the new healthy habit you are developing. It shouldn’t be what will make you slide right back into the old bad unhealthy habit.