How to Break a Habit
Most of us have heard the expression “Breaking up is hard to do.” This has merit, but you can still be highly successful in breaking a habit. In fact there are some tried and proven techniques that may help you break old habits no matter what they are. It all starts with recognizing bad habits and setting goals to replace or change them so you can improve your future performance.
Admitting the Problem – In order to want to change you have to recognize the need for change. The first step to breaking a habit is simply admitting that you have a problem.
Mentor Support – No doubt about it, a mentor can be the key to your success through affirmation. It is much easier to break a habit with the support of a mentor, or a trusted friend, who can help provide sound advice when things are not going your way.
Write down the habit that you want to break. Discuss it with your mentor or a trusted partner.
Visualize – See yourself as a new person without that cigarette or without biting your nails. See the places you can go to and feel more accepted and relaxed. See the benefits of breathing easier or writing in front of a group without being embarrassed. If it is something as simple as scratching your head too often, visualize yourself poised and confident with your hands in a relaxed position by your side. See the improvement, see your success and believe in the new you.
Picture – You can go a step further and take pictures of your habit in action. Looking at yourself in a photo or a video biting your nails may give you the motivation not to let others see yourself doing this ever again. This may give you another reason to want change this habit immediately.
Make a Checklist – Keep a record and check every successful attempt you have each day of breaking an unwanted habit. This will help to note your progress and can serve as a confidence builder as your success increases.
Reward Systems – Using positive rewards can help to motivate you in accomplishing your ultimate goal – breaking a bad habit! It’s important that you use rewards that are helpful towards meeting your objective. For example, if you are trying to loose a few pounds and kick a late night snack habit, you would not want to use candy for a reward. A good reward can be a movie, a favorite television show or time out with a favorite sport or another activity that you enjoy.
Write down a few rewards that may help motivate you to break your habit. Explore any possibilities and be as creative as possible. Discuss these rewards with your mentor.
Exerpts from the book, "Mentoring To-Go!"