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Episode 28 – How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One)

The only fool-proof method on how to break a bad habit, is to replace it with a good one. You have to start by adding a new behaviour to replace the old one.  For example, if you want to quit smoking, then taking part in sporting activities can help you break an unhealthy habit by participating in a healthy one.All bad habits start with a problem, and also being unable to solve that problem in good time. A bad habit simply means you are a slave to a problem that you have no control over.

028 – How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One)

All bad habits start with a problem, and also being unable to solve that problem in good time. A bad habit simply means you are a slave to a problem that you have no control over. But, with Mindfulness Techniques, and the right style of coaching you can learn to identify some ways to brainstorm, build control, and change.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to break a bad habit:

  • To evaluate where you’re at in order to change your behaviour.
  • That preparation is the most important phase of changing your habits.
  • My weekly Facebook Lives can help you dive deeper into behaviour change. 
  • Mindfulness techniques can empower you to change old habits.
  • Having a reward system in place for when you shift habits can give you a sense of satisfaction for changing.
  • Why changing habits can be so difficult. 

But, with Mindfulness Techniques, and the right style of coaching you can learn to identify some ways to brainstorm, build control, and break your bad habits. Kick that habit to the curb!!  After all, you do have control over your thoughts, and behaviours. Another key piece of information here is that the physiological effects of the problem in your life lead to more bad habits. What a cycle!

Surrender To The Problem 

The first step of kicking a bad habit is to take responsibility for your actions. You’re in charge of how you think and feel, and that’s the bottom line. Also, when you can surrender to how the problem is affecting you in your life, you’re in a position to experience a tremendous amount of power. 

Bad habits can prevent you from accomplishing your goals and they can also delude your mind from the real issues affecting your life.

Why Change Is So Tough

So why still engage in bad habits if you know you have a chance of changing something about you? Bad habits are perceived to be caused by stress, loneliness and boredom. This means you picked up a bad habit because you had nothing better to do. If you have something better to do, your mind will start to transition from negative thoughts to positive thoughts. If you are bored or stressed, then you’ll obviously have time to play video games, drink alcohol and watch TV, among other things not listed here.

Yes, it is true that some of these things were made to help you relieve stress, relax and pass time. But if you are doing them every day and every hour, then it won’t be any good for both your physical and mental health. Nothing in your life will change as you will be focused on things that are negatively consuming your time.

You can find an activity to help you managing the stress, or boredom, by engaging in new and healthier ways to help you kick the bad stuff. It’s crucial to be mindful and strategic about the way you deal with your stress, otherwise old habits can’t be replaced with new ones. You could have a cup of tea, and add a new habit of contemplation for relaxation.

Learn To Mediate

If you truly want to know how to break a bad habit and create a new one, Learning to Meditation is the one of the most powerful new habits you can take on. This such benefit can help you transition from a state of stress to complete relaxation. Don’t think it’s possible? It is. Top executive and athletes do it, so why can’t you? They need all the good habits they can take, right?

When you feel relaxed, you can think more clearly about your life. When you’re more relaxed, your body and mind can better self-regulate.  Meditation also activates the executory functions of the brain, helping you get creative with changing your life. Episodes 17,  15,  and 14 relate to meditation specifically.

Working constantly without taking a break to enjoy life is another bad habit that needs to be overcome. If you feel powerless to your bad habits, think of joining our 4-session self-paced Learn To Meditation course where you’ll learn to meditate with a mantra. This style is also known as Mantra-Style Meditation. Meditation is a proven technique to efficiently transcend your daily stress into your biggest asset in 20 minutes or less.

How Do You Manage Change Effectively?

In our recent Facebook Lives, I discussed the Transtheoretical Model of Change. It starts with pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and relapse. What this means is there are stages that people go through to change behaviours in their lives. You can’t go into auto-pilot and expect that you’ll shift your brain and physiology right away. 

If you think back to a time when you changed a bad habit, you went from not even considering changing it (unaware that it was a problem perhaps?), to being probed by others to change it and then you’d enter the contemplation phase. During that stage of change, when you were considering change, you had to deconstruct your routine. And you were likely probed by some instigator to make a change. Most can stay here for a very long time and never shift. During this contemplation phase, you were likely imagining yourself being a better version of you.

Preparation is typically the longest and most fun, as a coach. I love helping people see their blocks and unravel any potential problems that might interfere with achieving their ultimate success. While the preparation phase can take many weeks, it can also take a shorter amount of time if you’re working with a skilled coach, like me. All it would take is a day of brainstorming the problem and the resolution of it.

What Does It Mean To Be In Action?

The action phase and maintenance phase of kicking a bad habit (and replacing it with a new one) are self-explanatory. You’re in “action mode” and nothing can stop you from achieving what you desire the most. But having a relapse is when you stop doing the thing you said you were going to do altogether. That nasty habit is still a bad habit and you’ve likely faced fear head-on.  

Also, you might not know what that fear represents. Your own internal blocks poked their way into your life. You’ve either missed your gym routine for a few weeks now and you need to shift your habits again. Or, might you be allowing yourself to fall asleep with your cell phone instead of attending to healthier sleep habits.? You get me.

How To Create A Sustainable New Routine

So my fellow health practitioners, which bad habits are you trying to kick to the curb, and when are you going to set a quit date? In episode 21, I discuss three ways to making sustainable changes in your health and your life. Listen to that episode here. 

Once you make the decision, what do you need to do to prepare to not fall back into old habits? Do you need to write a long list of triggers and fears & ways you’ll work around them?

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