The Science of Bad Habits (and How to Break Them!)
Habits can make or break a person.
They train your body and mind over time to do what’s familiar, even if it’s not good for you.
Why does this occur?
Because your brain wants to optimize its energy use as much as possible. If you relearned your whole morning routine every day, you’d be exhausted by noon!
Your body and mind learn what to do over time. How you behave today affects the trajectory of your future—for the better or for the worst.
Looming bad habits that creep into our everyday lives are usually caused by a few things.
Sometimes, the perceived benefit is biological, like smoking. Sometimes, it’s emotional—like staying in a relationship that isn’t good for you. And in most cases, your habit can be the result of stress and boredom (think clenching your jaw, biting your nails, or stress eating).
Do you struggle with forming good habits? If you’re a human being, then the answer is probably YES.
Bad habits restrict your life and stop you from accomplishing your goals. They threaten your mental and physical health and waste your time and energy.
Have a bad habit you need to kick? Below are some behavioral tips to help you get rid of the habit once and for all, while retraining your mind to make better decisions:
- Tip #1: Don’t remove a bad habit, replace it. Since bad habits provide some sort of perceived benefit in your life, it can be difficult to remove them altogether. Instead of eliminating it, replace the habit with something that also provides a benefit.
- Tip #2: Cut out triggers. If you eat cookies when they’re in the house, throw out the cookies. If you pick up the remote when you sit on the couch, hide the remote in a different room. Make it easier on yourself to avoid bad habits by avoiding what causes them.
- Tip #3: Visualize success. Success starts in the mind, and the power of visualization is extremely useful. What will it feel like when you step on the scale and see the number decrease? Where will you be? What will you look like?
- Tip #4: Use the word “but” to conquer negative self-talk. It’s easy to judge yourself for not acting better, but the reality is that we all slip up every now and then. If you make a mistake, change what you tell yourself. For example:
I’m overweight and out of shape, but I could be in shape a few months from now.
- I'm a failure, but we all fail at times.
- Tip #5: Join forces. How often do we try and hide our dieting or simply not share our progress with others? That way, no one can see us mess up...right? Having accountability keeps you on track, and there’s nothing wrong with needing it!
If you’re looking to lose weight, replace bad habits, and create a healthier lifestyle, then schedule a FREE virtual consultation with an expert Ketality health coach to get you started on the accountability you deserve.
Remember, every action you take is a vote for the kind of person you become.
What kind of person do you want to be?