We all have at least one. A habit. In fact our lives are made up of them.
Habits, as most things, are not ’bad’ by definition. We can have good, even great habits. But for those bad ones here are 3 Hacks to Making'em Healthy.
Step #1 – Make it Conscious
The first step that you need to take to break your bad habits is to figure out when and why you engage in your bad habit.
Recognize the habit and the circumstances surrounding it. Doing this might help you figure out why you are engaging in the habit. Knowing your why (trigger) will give you a better chance of being able to stop it before it happens.
Step #2 – Put It In Writing
When you’ve figured out when and why you start to engage in a particular habit, take the time to write it down, to help you establish a baseline. Write down the antecedents, the emotions surrounding the bad habit, and what happens when you engage in your bad habit. Doing this will make your bad habit more conscious.
You should keep a log for at least a week so that you have enough data to take the next step, which is analyzing the data and looking at what your usual triggers are. As you put your information about your bad habit in writing, you also want to write down a list of the pros and cons of the behavior and keep a detailed record of when you engage in the activity.
This may sound like a lot but the tracking is essential to the process. Relying on your memory leaves too much room for error. And accuracy is key.
Step #3 – Bait and Switch
This next hack is often overlooked or skipped. You have to find a healthy swap. Too often we leave ourselves open and the habit comes back worse or we remain stagnate in that area. It doesn't necessarily have to be permanent just better. You can keep improving. For example if you tend to bite your nails, you could chew gum instead, then replace the gum with something healthier raw veggies.
If you have some bad habits that you'd like to break, the process though simple is not always easy. Follow these three steps, and begin to notice the lack of your engagement in your bad habits.