Replacing Bad Habits with Good Ones: Instead of learning how to
get rid of bad habits, this book will teach you how to replace them
with good ones. There is a very specific reason for this, and it has to
do with the psychology behind habitual behaviors.
You may be familiar with the idea that you cannot get rid of bad habits – you need to replace them with good habits instead. The reasoning behind this is that your mind thinks that you are taking something important away when you stop a bad habit; but when you simply start a good habit that pushes the bad habit out of the way, then you feel like you are giving yourself something.
So, what is the actual process in which bad habits become good ones? This is an important thing to understand, because it can help you get rid of all of your bad habits eventually. This article will go through the process step-by-step, using example bad and good habits.
Example Bad Habit: Skipping Breakfast
Example Good Habit: Having a Healthy Breakfast
So, you want to replace the habit of skipping breakfast with having a good, healthy breakfast instead. There are numerous reasons to do this, and studies have proven that people who eat breakfast are healthier, get more accomplished and are happier. Let’s go through the process of replacing the bad with the good one step at a time.
- Sit down and create a list of breakfast foods that you like. Then go out and buy them and keep them stocked in your kitchen.
- Stop eating food at 5:00PM each day. That way when morning comes you are hungry enough to eat something.
- Write down the benefits that come with eating breakfast and then post them somewhere that you will be able to see them when you get up in the morning.
- Make a habit out of going to the kitchen and looking at the food that is there. You don’t have eat anything at first. Just be aware that some good foods are stocked in your kitchen.
- Start small. Cut an orange into segments and eat one segment per day.
- Increase this until your body actually starts looking forward to having that orange every day.
- Don’t skip any days once you start eating. You may revert back to your old habit of not eating breakfast.
- Create a breakfast trigger. For example, as soon as you finish your first cup of coffee, then make something for breakfast.
- Increase the amount of food until you are having a full, healthy breakfast.
- Write down any benefits you notice from eating breakfast.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are a few things that you should keep in mind as you are working on
changing your habits. These are truths that you should remind yourself of
every day until you have them memorized and can refer back to them.
- Everyone has bad habits that they are trying to change. Some people
have a few more than others but that doesn’t make them any less
valuable of a person and the individual who overcomes more to
change their habits can end up a much stronger person than
someone who got there easily.
- Whenever you find a bad habit that you want to change, think of a
way to put a positive spin on it. Find a way to create a good habit that
will squeeze out the bad habits without making you think that you are
losing anything valuable from your life.
- The most important thing that you can do when it comes to training a
new habit is try your best every day. Don’t get discouraged because
you had a bad day and didn’t do as much as you thought you should
have. As long as you made an effort it is going to count towards your
- Remember, 30 days is just a guideline. Everyone is different and
there is nothing wrong with you if you need a little longer to make a
habit stick. In fact, some studies show that if you want to form a truly
effective habit, then 66 days is a better guideline. However, 30 days
is a really good start.
- Be flexible when it comes to training new habits. If you have made a
goal that you are going to study a new language for one hour every
day but you cannot every find a full hour to study, there is nothing
wrong with cutting it down to a half hour, or even ten minutes if
necessary. Try not to be too rigid and don’t be too hard on yourself if
you don’t get it right the first time.