Whether it’s binge-eating chocolate, biting your nails, or a deeper personal challenge, habits are tough to break. Why? Because we crave and enjoy habitual actions. You have dozens, maybe even hundreds, of habits, most of which you probably never notice. It starts the moment you wake up — you get out of bed in a certain way and probably head to the bathroom where you start a morning routine. Think about how effortlessly you slip into your habits and how little you have to think while in the midst of these daily routines.
Then there are the bad habits, which you definitely notice. The same way you go from bed to bathroom to kitchen, your bad habits are so ingrained they become semi-automatic. This is why breaking the small, repetitive sins can be so difficult; it takes awareness and some serious dedication. Up for the challenge? Use these tips and tricks to beat the cycle.
1. Be aware
The first step isn’t to try to stop your bad habits, it’s to watch and observe yourself. Notice when you get sucked into your usual action. Is it after a stressful conversation with your parents? After you’ve survived a hard day at work? If you notice when you’re doing it, you’ll be able to determine what circumstances led you there and what emotions are attached to the action. This step isn’t about judging yourself — it’s all about trying to understand what situations, emotions, or people instigate the habit.