To break bad habits, you need to find a substitute for it to replace it with a good habit. Just replacing your habits and building one good habit will make you resistant to that bad habit.
But building that one good habit is more difficult than quitting the current bad habit. Breaking a bad habit needs a lot of effort because you’ll be in a flow state with that bad habit.
To break that flow, you need to cut down your pleasures and get control over your mind.
And it’s not as easy as we think, that’s why most people fail to break bad habits.
But now you’ll know how to make the process easier and you can break bad habits simply by following these steps.
Table of Contents
What Actually Bad Habits Are?
The habits that will slowly destroy your life and are hard to break when once get addicted are termed to be “Bad Habits”.
These three reasons are the main reasons for the addiction to bad habits:
2: Entertaining and Exciting
3: Unbreakable Loop
If something gives you pleasure, it becomes obvious to become an addiction. Entertaining and exciting things will always increase your dopamine levels which leads you to be distracted from your work.
This will kick us into an unbreakable loop where we can’t find a way to get back to the normal state.
Why Do We Get Addicted To Bad Habits?
We always search for excuses when it’s time to do the hard work that’s needed to get things done.
Like this, we shift our focus from work to entertainment. (such as infinite scrolling, binge-watching, vaping, etc.)
As soon as our mind shifts to the more pleasurable things, it starts to release dopamine which will put us directly in the phase of addiction.
Once this addiction starts, then it gets harder for you to get back into the normal phase.
But it’s possible to get back to normal phase and break bad habits only when you implement these steps:
10 Steps To Break Bad Habits
Step: 1 Take One Habit
Always start small to achieve big. The only way to maintain the momentum is to do small tasks and slowly increase the level of hard work. It not only gives us motivation but also eliminates burnout.
Just take one habit at a time to break it and then only move on to the next habit.
Step: 2 Identifying the Reason
Addiction to bad habits happens due to three main reasons:
- Friends Influence
Most of the bad habits are addicted by the friend’s Influence. If one gets addicted to some bad habit, the other may also get addicted soon if he has no self-control.
We don’t know what we are doing in the phase of depression. Like this, we may get addicted to some bad habits. Sadly, to get away from depression we start drinking or smoking but unknowingly we make our lives even worse.
If one gets pleasure in doing something, he doesn’t think that what his doing is good or bad. He just continues doing it.
There may be some more reasons but these are the majority of the reasons that cause addiction to bad habits.
Identify the reason that caused you to be addicted to bad habits.
Step: 3 3R Principle
Now you identified the bad habit, you can’t break the bad habit in one go. First, you need to change your mindset. Once your mindset shifts then you can’t get addicted back to the habit that you broke. That’s why, we use the 3R principle to slowly break bad habits:
Say you have a bad habit of smoking. You smoke thrice a day. Now you need to reduce smoking to two times a day. Continue for the next one month.
You smoke in your free time, right? So schedule your smoking in your busy schedule where you won’t find any time to smoke. Or simply indulge yourself in other work. This gives the distance between you and smoking.
Slowly you’ll see that you smoke once in a while, not every day. Once you start feeling the benefits of not smoking, you tend to continue quitting smoking. That’s how you recover yourself from smoking.
Step: 4 Continue Bad Habit
Sometimes we lose our self-control and we fail to break bad habits. But it’s hard to break because you got addicted to that bad habit for a long time.
So breaking that bad habit should also happen slowly to avoid getting addicted back to the same habit.
Continue your bad habits but day by day decrease them so that you can break them in the period of 3-6 months.
The more you are addicted to a bad habit, the more time you’ll take to break it. But it shouldn’t take more than 6 months to break that habit and once you succeed in breaking that habit, you should never get back to it.
Step: 5 Replace It
After you succeed in breaking bad habits, you need to replace them with suitable good habits. Because you’ll get the results from the good habits. And when you see the visible results in your replaced habits (good habits), you’ll never think of getting addicted back to bad habits.
So replacing bad habits with suitable good habits is necessary to not only improve ourselves but also to prevent bad habit addiction.
Step: 6 Change Your Environment
If your environment is toxic, then you’ll find it hard to break bad habits. Changing your environment sounds impossible but it can be possible to some extent. You can cut off toxic friendships, relationships, etc.
This will directly put us into changing our environment. This will significantly help in breaking bad habits.
Step: 7 Write Everything
Just thinking will not get your work done. You need to write it down to put it into action. Whatever steps you apply, you need to write them down in a journal.
Writing helps in understanding more about yourself and when you write you’re halfway forward in achieving your goals.
So write everything whatever you’re going through, the tips that you applied, the struggles you face, and the results you got when you break bad habits.
Track your entire journey of the bad habit-breaking process so that you feel real about your life and your goals.
Step: 8 Meditate
To break bad habits, you need self-control on yourself. But that self-control comes from a clear mind. To make your mind controlled by yourself, you need to meditate every day.
Meditating helps in achieving the zero-thought stage which makes you think less and work more and more importantly it makes your mind clear.
Step: 9 Believe Yourself
If you do something purposefully by believing in yourself then no matter how many struggles you face, no matter how hard the journey will be, you’ll always find a way to cross all those hardships and achieve your end goals.
At first, you’ll find it hard to believe in yourself but as soon as you start believing in yourself then miracles happen to you.
Step: 10 Enable the Reward System
Breaking bad habits is a bit of a difficult job, but we can make the journey joyful by enabling a reward system.
After every successful skipping of a bad habit, you can reward yourself so that you get motivated to continue breaking your habits.
Like this, you break your bad habits.
Breaking habits takes the same time as building habits. Habit building is simple when you start small, stay consistent, and believe in yourself.
But breaking bad habits requires a lot of hard work where your patience level is being tested.
But if you’re determined to break that bad habit and want to make a visible change in your life, then you’ll do it anyway.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the easiest way to break a bad habit?
The three steps to break bad habits:
1: Reduce it slowly
2: Build another habit
3: Change your environment
What are the 7 steps to breaking a habit?
Step: 1 Take One Habit
Step: 2 Identifying the Reason
Step: 3 Replace It
Step: 4 Change Your Environment
Step: 5 Write Everything
Step: 6 Meditate
Step: 7 Believe in Yourself
What are the top 10 bad habits?
3: No Physical Activities
4: Postponing Everything
5: Not Drinking Water
6: Eating Junk Food
7: Blaming Others
8: Sleeping Less
10: Being Lazy
How do you break a bad habit in 21 days?
Follow these 5 steps to break a bad habit in 21 days:
1: Start Meditation
2: Journal Everything
3: Reduce It
4: Change Your Environment
5: Enjoy and Reward Yourself