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How to develop positive habits and break negatives ones

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How to develop positive habits and break negatives ones

Your life today is essentially the sum of your positive habits and your negative ones.

Habits are defined as behaviours that are performed with a minimum of cognitive effort.

They are things we learn to do through repetition and eventually do either unconsciously or with very little effort. First we form habits and then they form us. We are what we repeatedly do. Every time you do something, your subconscious programs it into your brain. The more you do it, the more entrenched the programming becomes.

I guess you already know what habits are. You’re here because your bad habits are letting you down. Try as you have, so far you’ve been unable to stop yourself.

Its like anything in life. There’s a way to do anything. You just haven’t yet discovered the solution to getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with those positive habits that will really bring about big improvements in your life.

Well in this article I’m going to give you what in truth is a pretty simple, but extremely effective way of doing it.

Many of you are let down by your negative habits. Unfortunately, it is remarkably easy to fall into unhealthy routines. It’s far harder to get rid of them.

What actually is a bad habit? A bad habit is any routine that hinders you from your personal or professional goals, rather than helping you toward them. They disrupt your life, maybe even stop you from achieving great things. They are a bane to your life and get rid of them you must.

A bad habit can be anything…

  • Eating unhealthy foods
  • Being sedentary, getting no exercise
  • Drinking far too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Always being late
  • Wasting time surfing the internet
  • Playing computer games into the early hours of the morning
  • Procrastinating, overthinking, lying, criticizing everything, spending too much money, gambling and the list goes on.

There’s no shortage of unhealthy and unproductive habits.

Many of us have experienced the frustration of trying to break a bad habit. As Mark Twain said, “Quitting smoking is easy. Personally, I’ve quit many times.”

But what if you want to improve? What if you want to form new habits? How would you go about it?

The good news is that, no matter how deeply entrenched our habits are , we still have the ability to fix them. It’s not easy, but it is possible.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success if found in your daily routine.”

John C. Maxwell

Now let me give you the simple solution that you’ve probably been searching for ages for.

I didn’t create it. Charles Duhigg did in his book ‘The Power of Habit.’

It is a simple 3–step pattern that every habit follows. It’s called the “3 R’s of Habit Change”

  1. Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behaviour)
  2. Routine (the behaviour itself; the action you take)
  3. Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behaviour

Makes sense right.

Is it possible to free yourself from bad habits? Can people really change in any meaningful and lost-lasting way? Can I change myself? The answer to each of these questions is “yes.” But you can’t change in 24 hours, as some programs and self-help books promise.

Just think of any of your bad habits. See how they fit into this pattern.

To change them now becomes easy. You need to be aware of the trigger and understand what you feel the reward of doing it is. Unpack your habits using this pattern. Spend time identifying all the three elements that form your bad habit.

Now you just have to do the following:

  1. Substitute a good routine that provides the same reward to replace the bad routine.
  2. Resolve firmly that you will pursue the new habit.
  3. Associate pain with the bad routine to increase the effectiveness in breaking the bad habit
  4. Keep reminding yourself of the benefits of the new habit
  5. Rehearse the new habit to set yourself up for success
  6. Repeat the new habit enough to times to make it automatic

Whatever your bad habit is, you may have tried to break it many times, too.

This time will be different, because you’ll understand that breaking your habit is a process, not an event. You will have the knowledge and the confidence to succeed this time.

If the reward is positive, then you’ll want to repeat the routine again the next time the reminder happens. Repeat the same action enough times and it becomes a habit. Every habit follows this basic 3–step structure.

It takes time and effort to install new systems in your life. But once installed, they become effortless as they become part of your life.

Your bad habits hold you back in life so work hard at getting rid of them and replacing them with positive habits. It’s worth it I promise you.

Success is a result of daily actions…

“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.”

Sean Covey

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About the author: Larry Lewis
I'm Larry. As an Executive Life Coach, entrepreneur and writer, I am an unshakable optimist dedicated to helping you become the person you most want to be. I am devoted to sharing ideas, tools and resources that will help you create a better, stress free, well balanced life.

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