HOW TO CHANGE BAD HABITS INTO GOOD ONES
So how can you change bad habits into good ones? To actually change your bad habits into good ones you need to understand the process of trigger, routine and reward and then change your routine.
But before we dive into this process, let's look at where bad habits are actually coming from. Bad habits come slow. They sneak in, so to say.
They come in disguise of a harmless deflection. Or a little act. And then, once in, they grow and develop into fat and ugly beasts!
I realized this when I noticed I had developed the habit of checking my phone on every occasion.
Every time I took a little “break,” I was checking Facebook, Instagram or I felt down the Pinterest rabbit hole.
The crazy thing about habits is that you do not even realize what you are doing. You just do it as if you were on autopilot!
It’s like watching your kids growing up. It is very slow, and you don’t recognize it. But then you look at pictures, which are only six months old, and you see a huge difference.
Or gaining some weight over time. You stop working out, maybe drink a little too much wine when you are out with the girls, eat some chocolate here and there. You don’t see how fat you’ve become.
Everything is looking normal. And it feels like suddenly, you wake up and your jeans don’t fit anymore.
But then it is too late! You already need a bigger size.
Or maybe even worse, and you already have high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other health problem. And you ask yourself: “How did this happen? And when?”
That’s what habits do. They seem normal, and they happen unconsciously.
But the good news, you can change this! And it’s not really difficult, once you know how.
You Can Reverse the Process of Bad Habits
The great thing is that because you have implemented a particular habit in your life, you can also change it.
There is a well known psychological process. Implementing a habit follows these three steps, every time.
Trigger, Routine, Reward.
But let me explain this in some more detail.
A situation or an event is triggering an impulse. That impulse is then triggering a routine, which is based on your habits, and the routine is then finally triggering a reward.
my break is triggering to check my phone and checking my phone (the routine) is triggering the reward.
This reward could be feeling great, because of the new likes I got on my last Instagram picture.
That process is always the same.
To eliminate all the bad habits in your life once and for all, you have to change the routine part of that process.
All you have to do is to decide consciously, to exchange “checking your phone” to something more positive and constructive.
Such as reviewing your goals, meditate, adding something to your journal and so on.
The reward stays the same. You will feel great. But this time because of the right reasons.
Because you achieved something and not for wasting your time. (Well ok Instagram is not really wasting time, especially as a business owner, but checking it once a day is more than enough!)
The hard part for me was to realize when I was in the process of this when I was on autopilot.
And very often I only realized it when I was already executing the routine. Of course, this was too late.
The most critical part is to be aware of your life. To be conscious of what you are doing and why.
For that, you have to live in the now. Live and enjoy the moment. Be here.
Once you realize, that you are trapped in a habitual process, all you have to do is to identify your routine and consciously change it to meet your goals and your reward.
Sounds too complicated? Don't worry; we are going to do this together, now.
THE 3 STEP PROCESS OF CHANGING YOUR HABITS
Ok let's use another example, because we all love Instagram and don't want to make a bad habit out of it, right?
Smoking is a good one. Most smokers are aware that smoking is a bad habit and want to actually stop it. I stopped smoking years back, so it's definitely something I know it works.
When I think back, I mostly smoked when I was stressed. For many smokers maybe being bored could be a strong trigger, but let's now assume that the Trigger is Stress.
So every-time I felt stressed out I wanted to smoke a cigarette.
My reward would be some relaxation. After a hard day at work, when I finally could take a break, I loved to smoke a cigarette because It made me feel relaxed.
So our Reward would be Relaxation.
The Routine (The Actual Habit)
In our smoking example, this would be smoking a cigarette.
In the graphic below you can see the Habit Loop, also called the Circle of Habits.
This picture shows you how the Trigger, Routine, Reward process works. Every-time!
So all we now have to do is changing the routine to something better (healthier) than smoking.
That's an easy one; smoking is so unhealthy, almost everything that comes to my mind right now, that could calm you down and relax, is healthier.
I remember back, almost 20 years when I stopped smoking (what was actually very effortless, thanks to using this process), I started to drink a lot of herbal teas.
Every time I felt stressed and I would normally smoke a cigarette I just made myself a nice cup of tea, relaxed and felt as good (no actually better) as if I would smoke.
To make sure that my new routine was something I could and also wanted to keep up, I started to buy different sorts of herbal teas.
So instead of going to the next corner shop to get a packet of cigarettes, I actually went to a tea house or health food store and tried out new flavors.
The love for teas stayed till today and I'm still a non-smoker, for almost 20 years now.
So try the trigger - routine - reward process today and change your bad habits into good ones.
Hey lovely, in case you need some help with changing a bad habit, or you just love to talk about everything mindset and business, come over to our community and let us know. We are more than happy to support you!
And please, if you liked this post, share the love! Have an amazing day and enjoy working on your habits, personal-development, after all, should be fun.
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About the Author
Mia Fox is a trained NLP & Mindset Coach with nearly a decade of experience. After finally finding the secret behind "The Secret," she changed her money mindset and manifested her dream life. Since then, it is her big passion to help women around the world to do the same. She is the founder behind the Self Made Ladies Community & Blog and the author of "Become the CEO of Your Dream Life", teaching her advanced manifesting formula, where she gives women a practical no BS approach to the Law of Attraction and Manifestation.
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