9 Proven Strategies To Break Bad Habits

Learn how to break unhealthy habits and achieve success with these proven strategies. Discover the power of positive reinforcement, setting goals, and creating new patterns to help you reach your life goals.

By URLife Team
29 Dec 2022

Are you tired of feeling stuck in the same negative pattern of behaviour? Do you want to break free from bad habits that are holding you back in life? If so, you're not alone.

Many people struggle with bad habits, whether it's procrastination, unhealthy eating habits, or an unhealthy relationship with technology. The good news is that breaking bad habits is possible, and there are proven strategies that can help you achieve lasting change.

Read on for nine proven strategies for breaking bad habits and creating healthier behaviour patterns. From identifying the triggers that lead to your bad habits to setting specific goals and enlisting the support of others, we'll provide practical tips and guidance to help you on your journey toward lasting change.


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Proven Tips To Shatter Unwanted Habits

1. Rediscover What Helps You Win

Breaking bad habits isn't easy, but it is possible. It all starts with identifying what's not working and then replacing it with a new habit that will help you win. Start by understanding why you have adopted this particular habit in the first place.

Once you get to the root of it, you can start making changes. Then, look for alternative solutions or activities that can serve as a replacement for your old habit—something that will give you a sense of satisfaction instead of guilt or regret. Consider calming activities like yoga or reading if your current routine needs some restructuring. Finding moments of quietness will help you understand yourself better, and set just goals and expectations for yourself.

Finally, make sure these new habits are sustainable and achievable in order to create lasting change in your life.


2. Transform Negative Habits Through Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that involves bringing your attention to the present moment without judgement. It can be a powerful tool in helping you break bad habits, as it allows you to become more self-aware and better understand your own behaviours and thought patterns. When you're mindful, you're more likely to notice when you're engaging in a negative habit and can take steps to change it.

Mindfulness is a practice that involves bringing your attention to the present moment without judgement. It can be a powerful tool in helping you break bad habits, as it allows you to become more self-aware and better understand your own behaviours and thought patterns. When you're mindful, you're more likely to notice when you're engaging in a negative habit and can take steps to change it.

To practise mindfulness, you can try activities such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. You can also incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine by paying more attention to your senses and the present moment as you go about your day. With practice, mindfulness can help you transform negative habits and create healthier patterns of behaviour. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can often be underlying causes of negative habits.

In addition, mindfulness can foster self-compassion, allowing you to be more forgiving of yourself and more motivated to make positive changes. Overall, mindfulness can be a powerful tool for breaking free from bad habits and creating a more fulfilling and balanced life.


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3. Beat Bad Habits With The 'Daily Questions' Solution

Do you have a bad habit that you can't seem to break? If so, the 'daily questions' exercise might be just what you need! This exercise encourages mindful behaviour and helps guide your decision-making process.

To start, take time each day to ask yourself three important questions: What do I want for myself today? How will my choices make me feel later on? How does this align with my long-term goals? Once you have given each question careful thought, come up with strategies for how to make positive choices throughout the day.

The 'daily questions' exercise can help you become more aware of your decisions and ultimately break any bad habits that may be holding you back from achieving your goals. With consistent practice and dedication, this simple exercise can help bring lasting change into your life.


4. Ride The Motivation Wave To Discover Lasting Change

Starting something new can be overwhelming. It's hard to break old habits, and sometimes it feels like you'll never get the hang of it. But don't worry—you'll be surprised at how quickly your brain adapts to a new routine if you just push yourself in the right direction.

Riding the 'motivation wave' is an excellent way to start forming a positive habit. By pushing yourself during peak motivation moments, you can create new pathways in your brain that will lead to permanent change and help form long-term consistency. The trick is simple: when you feel motivated, go for it! Listen to that internal voice telling you now is the time, and act on it. Don't wait until tomorrow or next week—get started today!


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5. Abandon Bad Habits With 'I Don't.'

We all do things that we label as bad habits. Whether it's smoking, spending hours on social media, or procrastinating; the list goes on. The good news is that breaking these bad habits isn't as hard as you might think. All you need to do is get into the habit of saying "I don't" when faced with a temptation to do something that will lead to an unwanted outcome. Saying the phrase “I don’t”, makes it easier to work on tools that you need to quit smoking or reduce your screen time.

It can feel intimidating at first, but it can be incredibly empowering. By saying "I don't," you're consciously deciding not to engage in one type of behaviour in favour of another healthier option. In other words, it's about focusing on what you want for yourself rather than what’s just convenient or pleasurable at the moment. It's about taking control and making healthier decisions for yourself in the long run.


6. Turn  A Negative Into A Positive With Your SO

Having bad habits can be hard to break on your own. With the support of your partner, though, you can make a plan and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Taking on the task together is even more rewarding because it strengthens your relationship as you work together towards a common goal.

If starting new habits is what you're going for, getting your partner involved in the process can help keep you motivated to reach those goals. Even if it's something small like drinking more water or exercising daily, having someone around to check in and make sure those goals are being met makes it easier than ever before.

So why not get started? Talk with your partner about any bad habits that need breaking or any good ones that need forming; then make a plan and stick with it!


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7. Breaking Bad Habits: Uncover The Cues, Routines & Rewards

Breaking a bad habit can be one of the most difficult tasks to undertake. Fortunately, there is a strategy that can make it easier. By identifying the cue, routine, and reward associated with the bad habit, you can begin to break it.

A cue is an event or stimulus that triggers your bad behaviour, like smoking after dinner. A routine is a behaviour itself, in this case, smoking a cigarette. The reward is the payoff for engaging in the behaviour, satisfaction from nicotine, or socialising with others who are also smoking.

Once you have identified these key elements of your bad habit, you can use them to replace them with something more positive and healthy.


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8. Making Change Simple: Use An 'IF-THEN' Plan

Creating an 'if-then' plan is a great way to set yourself up for success and make lasting changes in your life.

An 'if-then' plan is simple: it's a way of setting goals and outlining specific steps needed to reach them. For example, if you're trying to break a bad habit like smoking, your 'if-then' plan could look something like this: If I'm feeling stressed, then I will take deep breaths instead of reaching for cigarettes. Or if you are looking to start a new habit such as exercising regularly, your plan might say: If it's Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 am, then I'll do 30 minutes of exercise.

Once you have identified the habit and trigger that you want to link together, it’s important to create specific steps and goals in order for the habit to become successful. By taking small actions each day towards achieving your goal, you'll easily break free from your bad habits.


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9. Making Yourself Do Things Without Necessarily Liking Them

The key to success when trying to break a bad habit lies in embracing the fact that it won't necessarily be pleasant all the time. You can repeat the behaviour as much as you want, but if you don't force yourself out of your comfort zone and make yourself do it, then nothing will change.

The key here is making sure that despite your lack of enthusiasm for the task at hand, you still make yourself do it anyway. This could mean setting reminders on your phone and creating rewards for completing tasks on time or even enlisting friends and family members who can help keep you accountable for reaching your goals.


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Final Thoughts

Breaking bad habits is a journey. With the right mindset and dedication, you can make the change you need to break your bad habits. Start small and make sure to recognise when you are succeeding as well as when you are struggling. Take it one step at a time, be patient, and above all else, stay motivated. With these nine strategies implemented into your daily life, you'll be saying goodbye to bad habits in no time!


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The above article contains inputs and advice from certified executive coach, Debeshi Chakraborty.












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