We all have habits, some good and some not so good. These are behaviors that we’ve learned and that occur almost automatically. And most of us have a habit we’d like to break, or one we’d like to develop.
For most people, it takes about four weeks for a new behavior to become routine, or habit. The following steps can make it easier to establish a new behavior pattern.
We all have habits, some of which are beneficial and others which are detrimental. These are learnt habits that happen virtually spontaneously. And the majority of us have a habit we’d like to break or cultivate.
A new behavior takes around four weeks for most people to become regular, or habit. The steps below might help you build a new behavioural habit.
- The first step is to set up a goal. You should aim to describe your objective as a positive statement, especially if you are trying to halt or break a habit. Instead of saying, “I will stop snacking at night,” add, “I will practice healthy eating habits.” You should also write down your objective. Putting things on paper helps you commit. It can also assist if you tell someone you trust about your aim.
- Choose a substitute behavior. (If your aim is to form a new habit, your replacement behavior will be the goal in and of itself.) When attempting to break a habit, this stage is critical. If you wish to cease a habit, you must replace it with a greater behavior. If you don’t, the old pattern of behavior will resume.
- Learn and be aware of your triggers. Behavior patterns do not exist in isolation. Often, one behavior is linked to another aspect of your daily routine. In the eating scenario, the trigger may be late-night television or reading. While you’re watching, you reach for a bag of chips. Many smokers instantly light up after eating. Consider when and why you do the activity you wish to stop doing.
- Post reminders to yourself. You may accomplish this by writing yourself notes in the locations where the activity often happens. You may also leave a note for yourself on the mirror, refrigerator, computer display, or any other area where you will see it frequently. You might also have a family member or coworker repeat a certain phrase to you to remind you of your aim.
- Get help and support from someone. This is self-evident. With assistance, any task becomes simpler. It works much better if you can develop a collaboration with someone who has the same purpose as you.
- Write daily affirmations. Write your phrase or statement ten times a day for twenty-one days in the present tense (as if it were actually happening). This approach helps you integrate your objective into your subconscious, which not only reminds you to practice the new behavior, but also keeps you focused and motivated.
- Reward yourself for making progress at set time intervals. Focus on your objective one day at a time, but reward yourself with a tiny treat after one, three, and six months. The incentives don’t have to be huge or expensive, and you should strive to make them related to the objective in some manner. This offers you with both an incentive and another motivation.
Following these steps is no guarantee of success of course. Depending on the habit it may take several tries to finally make the change. But if you stick with it, you can do it. Good Luck.