“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” - Samuel Johnson
Breaking bad habits are hard; reason being is, because they are deeply wired into our brains. This is due to the behavior being repeated continuously over a period of time. From the start of our day we perform several activities with little effort such as brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, and driving to work. Whether good or bad, habits are programmed in the brain. These programs are made up of three components: a trigger, a behavior, and a reward. It helps to identify the habit you want to change and its trigger. Secondly, identify how the habits serve you. Most importantly, find a new habit to replace the old one with. The best way to break a bad habit is by creating new ones. Acknowledge that you will begin doing things differently in order to bring forth the subconscious behavior to the conscious mind. By doing so, you emphasize your ability to change. This can be challenging, as some often attempt to change several things at once. The key is to change one thing at a time, instead of overhauling your life. Rather than making sudden change, try taking advantage of the moments you are motivated. As psychologist BJ Fogg once said, “Motivation only has one role in our lives and that’s to help us to do hard things.” As you replace old habits with good habits, the repetition of the behavior will begin to reprogram the mind.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”- Jim Rohn
Oppong, T. (2018). The Neuroscience of Change: How to Train Your Brain to Create Better Habits. https://medium.com/swlh/to-break-bad-habits-you-really-have-to-change-your-brain-the-neuroscience-of-change-da735de9afdf
Goetz, T. (2016). How to Change Unhealthy Habits. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/renaissance-woman/201607/how-change-unhealthy-habits