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How to Kick a Bad Habit and Form New, Healthy Habits

Hey Angels and Alphas,

It’s not easy to break out of a bad habit and form new, healthy habits in its place. To be successful, you need to develop small, incremental steps that build upon each other over time until they become more automatic and instinctive than the old habits ever were. This blog post provides a quick checklist of 7 powerful strategies that will help you kick your bad habit and form new, healthy habits in its place that work better for you in the long run.

Step 1: Taking action

The first step to kicking a bad habit is taking action. This means making the decision to change and then following through with it. Decide what you want to change and why, then set a plan in place to make it happen. Trying to go cold turkey may work for some people, but others may need to take more gradual approach. Find what works for you and stick with it.

Step 2: Build your motivation with micro-rewards

In order to change your behavior, you need to be motivated. A great way to do this is by setting up micro-rewards for yourself. For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, give yourself a non-food related treat (like a new book or magazine) for every day that you don’t smoke. This will help you associate positive things with not smoking, and make it more likely that you’ll stick to your goals.

Step 3: Consider your triggers

Your triggers are the people, places, things, or situations that lead you to your bad habit. To kick your bad habit, you need to become aware of your triggers and make a plan for how to avoid or deal with them. You can do this by writing down your triggers in a journal, asking someone close to you what their thoughts are on your triggers, and reflecting on when in the day (or week) these occur. For example, if one of your trigger is boredom at work because there is nothing to do, ask yourself: What did I do before I started doing this? Did I always have something else planned when I felt bored? Was it helpful? What could I do instead of my bad habit now?

Step 4: Develop a plan

If you want to kick a bad habit, you need to have a plan. Figure out what triggers your bad habit and come up with alternative activities or coping mechanisms that you can do instead. Also, make sure to avoid any tempting situations that might trigger your bad habit. Tell your friends and family about your plan so they can support you. Finally, be patient with yourself and don’t get discouraged if you slip up–everyone does from time to time. Just get back on track and keep going!

Step 5: Find support

If you want to kick a bad habit, it’s important to find support from those around you. Let your friends and family know what you’re trying to do and ask for their help. You can also join a support group or online community dedicated to helping people achieve their goals. Having people who understand what you’re going through can make the process much easier.

Step 6: Remember life isn’t black and white

Trying to break a bad habit can feel like an uphill battle. You may find yourself feeling like you’re constantly taking two steps forward and one step back. But it’s important to remember that progress is not always linear. There will be setbacks, but as long as you don’t give up, you will eventually reach your goal.

Step 7: Reward yourself regularly

Whenever you hit a milestone in your journey to breaking your bad habit, give yourself a pat on the back—literally. Research shows that tangible rewards are key to forming new habits. So every time you resist the urge to indulge in your bad habit, do something nice for yourself. Get a mani/pedi, buy yourself a new book, or take yourself out to dinner. The sky’s the limit!

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