Good and bad, we all have things that we love doing. Some of them will have more positive effects on us, some will have more negative effects. When we realize that some of our hobbies and habits have overwhelmingly negative effects on us, it is time for a change. But how do we make change happen? The mind is a fragile thing and it can give in easily. This is why we will talk about the 5 best ways of getting rid of unhealthy habits for good.
Why do You Want to Change?
First of all, ask yourself this very simple question: Why do I want to change this? Figure out what is it that you dislike about this particular habit and why it is leading you to harm. A study has shown that it becomes increasingly easier to change a bad habit once you’ve realized the direct benefits of doing so. These are the most crucial moments for a person who is at a crossroads. List all of the positive things that will happen as a consequence of you changing these bad habits. Motivated? Good. From here on, you can see how it feels for a few days, whether your motivation keeps holding on or if it slowly goes away. If you feel it fading away then it’s better to materialize your goals. Write down the positive changes that will ensue as a result of your dedication on a piece of paper. Then, hang it up high where you will see it numerous times throughout the day. With the list hung up, you will be constantly reminded of your goals and motivation will remain more present as a consequence of the note. Once you have achieved your goal, you are way less likely to revert back to your ways due to you reminding yourself of all the positive things you have now achieved from quitting the habit.
Quitting Cold Turkey
Sometimes the best way isn’t to go steadily but instead to just flat out stop. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. It takes tremendous willpower in order to fully quit a bad habit out of the blue. You will constantly be under pressure to get back to the bottle of alcohol or the appealing hamburger filled to the brim with calories. A habit is not something a person can get rid of overnight so you need to take precautions and good preparations. This can even be devastating to the psyche if you fail because you will feel worse when you slip up when you quit cold turkey more than when you are accepting of your faults. So you should make yourself the antithesis of that action that you want to quit. Make it a part of you that you don’t drink, eat unhealthily, or whatever else is the thing you are trying to stop. This is the more forward way of doing it, you can also do it in a more suggestive manner, where you tell yourself that you want to be a person who doesn’t do this.
Overall, there are many ways of enforcing quitting a habit of cold turkey, but you have to decide for yourself what works best for you. Experiment with different options so that you see what is the most optimal for you. This type of quitting is especially effective for those fueled with strong emotions.
Be Ready for Mistakes
Mistakes happen. Slip-ups occur. What we have to do is acknowledge them. Nobody is perfect, therefore people are prone to making mistakes and slipping up and you should not beat yourself up too hard for having this happen to you. However, we should also strive to learn from our mistakes, don’t get too comfortable with them. Don’t be too comfortable with the mindset of “it’s not a problem to make mistakes”, because if you do so, you will get too comfortable with this being a regular occurrence, and then the entire effort of quitting the habit becomes pointless. It takes time to fully solidify brand-new habits that we aren’t used to. We can find them frightening and it can make us feel uncomfortable, but the goal is to persevere through and keep fighting for our goals, even if it takes a few bumps in the road to make them happen.
Get Another Habit to Fill in the Previous One
A great way of filling the void left by a destructive habit is by replacing it with another, more productive, habit. You can opt for something that fulfils you or makes you healthier. If you are addicted to gaming then you will usually suffer from a lot of pains in your body, in which case the first step would be to see a physio in order to start the restoration process.
For more physical and interactive activities, you can start a hobby like biking, hiking, or sports with friends.
For a more developing activity, you can start reading, learning a new language, or a new skill.
For a more fulfilling activity, you can start writing, drawing, or anything that allows you to create something that you can call yours.
Work Your Way Up to Bigger Goals
Sometimes you are the best judge of your capabilities. If you feel that you can’t quit it immediately then it’s best to take baby steps. Sometimes it takes more time to completely get over something. If you want to quit something more abstract like soft drinks or unhealthy food then it would be more recommendable to lower the amount you take in first. Then, over time, you can remove them altogether once your body gets readjusted to your new drinking/eating habits. A way of contributing to this is by changing environments, as sometimes we can get too attached to a particular schedule related to specific rooms. For example, once you enter your room and you don’t have anything to do, you will immediately go to your PC and start playing games because it’s next to the door and it’s the most convenient option. Changing your room around a bit to make it more destimulating can be just the thing to get your change going. In this case, it would be, for example, removing the PC chair so that you will have to get the chair from another place if you would want to play games. Perhaps then you will have something else to do since you can’t be bothered to bring the chair from the other room into your own room.