The quitter’s guide to stopping bad habits

Group Of Teenagers SmokingThey’re called bad habits for a reason: they haunt us, they steer us off track and they prevent us from living our healthiest lives. But, because they’re habits, they’ve become sort of a ritual, part of what we do and who we are. It can be extremely difficult to stop a bad habit like smoking, but not impossible.

The first step is to identify why you have these habits. Be extra mindful; keep a journal and write down anytime you feel the need to indulge in your bad habit. Where are you, what do feel, what are the circumstances? See if you can define the reason for your habit.

Keeping this record can help you identify possible triggers that could be making it more difficult to break your habit. You may find you even need to avoid certain situations, especially in the beginning.

To rid yourself of a bad habit you’ll need to be committed to a formulated plan of action. Write down your goal and believe you can achieve it. This may mean starting small. Making small strides towards an ultimate goal might not feel as satisfying, but it’s a great way to start the path to success. Maybe your bad habit is too much screen time and not enough exercising. Instead of going all out immediately, take steps for gradual change. Make your first goal to exercise at least 10 minutes a day. If screen time is an issue, exercise first, so you don’t get pulled into a binge session and skip the workout.

Reward yourself for good behavior. This can even be a part of the plan; you could do a reward system for every mini goal you achieve along the way.

Understanding what your bad habit is and why you do it is the first step. After that, you can formulate a plan of action and beat that bad habit.