“Jerry is an alcoholic. He has decided to quit alcohol many times in the past ten years and failed. But one day, Jerry’s 3-year-old daughter, Mili asked her daddy to stop drinking alcohol. Jerry promised her, and from that day he stopped drinking alcohol forever.” How could Jerry break a bad habit of 10 years in a day? He thought it is shameful to fail in his pledge to his 3-year-old daughter. Do you want to break bad habits like Jerry?
You can follow the below steps to break bad habits
• Pick one habit at a time
Think of the New Year’s resolutions we make. We usually start the year with a lengthy list of habits we’d like to change. Instead of focusing on one routine, we try to fix our entire lives, all on the first of January. We may not have the willpower necessary to manage many new habits. As a result, we fail because it’s almost impossible to change many habits at the same time.
Even if you want to change many areas of your life, it’s best to commit to one habit change at a time. You can read about an awesome way to change a habit here.
• Journal about the reasons to get rid of this habit
Note down all the reasons why you want to break it? Many times, we decide to quit a bad habit to meet other’s expectation or to prove someone something. If you want to break bad habits because of any of petty reasons, the chances of you failing are high.
See Jerry could quit his bad habit of ten years in a day because he attached pain in breaking his pledge to his daughter. Find out the reasons which are meaningful for you.
Suppose, you want to quit smoking. Don’t try to stop just because your loved ones are telling you to do or out of shame in failing to meet other’s expectation.
Find out the reasons which are significant to you. Think about the health hazards you have and how that is going to impact your loved ones. You may not want your loved ones to suffer because of you. Or think about the freedom you are losing because of your addiction to the smoking.
The key is to find out those painful reasons why you have to break this habit now. Write them down. Find out the benefits you are getting from breaking this behavior.
• Select a person whom you trust as an accountability partner
Slipping back to old routine is easy. Having a partner of responsibility is a way to put positive pressure on you.
Once you commit to your accountability partner the decision to quit a habit, there will be pressure on you. This positive pressure helps you to break the bad habit since no one likes to look like a failure.
Discuss the details of your plan. Decide on the consequences for going back to the bad habit and rewards for sticking to the new routine.
In the book “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.”, Robin S Sharma states about the power of pressure on developing healthy habits in a dramatic way. In Sivana, if monks did not follow through on their commitments, such as fasting for a week or getting up daily at 4:00 am to meditate, they would go down to the icy waterfall and stand under it until their arms and legs went numb.
The Book says “The point is simply that when you train your mind to associate pleasure with good habits and punishment with bad ones, your weaknesses will quickly fall by the wayside.”
You may check out The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny at Amazon.
• Commit to the new routine for next 30 days
You can read about 30-days trial method to change a habit here.
In a nutshell, to break bad habits, choose that one behavior you have to get rid of now. Find out that why do you want to eradicate it. Have an accountability partner to support you in this journey. Stick to your new routine without the bad habit for 30 days!