How to change a habit

How to change a habit

What is a habit?

Think about an obsession you have or a routine you follow often. One that you are comfortable with and wouldn’t want to change. It can be anything – an addiction to smoking, an item of old furniture that you hold on to, checking your messages and emails on your mobile phone every few minutes, or something you do or eat on those gloomy days. Now, think about how you would feel if you had to give up that habit.


What causes a habit?

There are many reasons as to why habits exists. There is also motivation behind every habit.

A few reasons why habits exists-

  • Gaining a personal reward
  • Achieving a goal
  • A temporary stress relief
  • The means to avoid an unwanted situation or unwanted stress such as lost time, hard work and extra financial costs
  • To avoid going out of a comfort zone
  • To avoid worrying or overthinking
  • Thinking about others’ feelings
  • A habit can be picked up from someone else
  • For cleanliness and to avoid an illness or disease
  • To pass time or for pleasure


How do you break a habit?

First, you need to identify the cause of the habit, what is the motivation behind your habit and how can you find that motivation from something else. Find another way it will benefit you, look ahead rather than behind, learn ways or find a new habit that can benefit you in the future. Try to change your state of mind and don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, just think about the better benefits you will get from it, this will help you.

Motivational rewards

When trying to change a habit, you will want to look ahead at the benefits you will gain. Here is a list of some that you use to keep you motivated when you make that change.

  • Getting promoted at work
  • Improvement to physical appearance
  • Improvement to health
  • Happiness
  • Improvement in living conditions
  • An improvement to someone else’s life
  • A future improvement

For example, if you have the common habit of shopping often and want to change it, you may want to think about saving money instead or buying items of better quality once in a while that will last for years rather than months.

If you tend to eat comfort food on those gloomy days you can try to switch to something healthier, you can work out at the gym or do extra work and chores to keep your mind off it until you no longer need it.

If you have old furniture that you store away because it belonged to someone close to you, you may consider redecorating it or adding something to it that will give it more of a purpose, or give it to someone who needs it more or someone who would appreciate it.

If you’re someone who is used to perfection, then you will likely expect it, you will get used to things and if they aren’t then you will become stressed as you are used to it. This makes for an unhealthy habit and you will want to tone it down by gradually accepting that it’s okay if things aren’t perfect.

By making small changes to your habits you will be motivated to keep going and you will create a better lifestyle for yourself. You will be surprised with how you feel afterwards.

Share your habits in the comments below.


Photo by THE 5TH on Unsplash