7 Days to Create a Habit, 14 Days to Break the Habit
Weather this be true or not there is an old saying that does seem likely…
‘It takes 7 days to create habit and 14 days to break a habit’.
Most of us can start bad habits in 7 days or less, but breaking them is always harder.
This is a major key factor to kicking those habits. Just saying I want to quit, doesn't make it so (If only it did!) there is always that something extra that you need. A support person or group can be that little bit extra. Being held accountable not only to yourself, but by someone else, most people are more apt to try harder to stop. When it comes to my life, I hate letting other people down and I know that if I have someone to hold me accountable, I always follow through with my action plan. When choosing a support person or group it is important to find one that is encouraging and not a disciplinarian. Encouragment will help you stay on track to breaking that habit more than condemnation for slipping. Not to mention, if you are a rebel by nature than the condemnation may very well be one of the triggers to the bad habit!!
Bad habits come in many forms and there are many factors to the bad habit. Determine the triggers of your bad habit first and foremost. This will arm you with awareness of the pending habit before you do it. Keeping a journal with what you were doing when the bad habit happened will help you realize if there was an emotion behind it, what was going on around you, who you were with, etc. or any other reason why you seem to do it. Continue with the journal and everyday write how you did on breaking the habit for that day. Remember when doing this it is to help keep you focused on changing something you don't like, not a self-condemnation exercise. Think positive!!!
This is probably the hardest part. I find it easy to be consistent for about a week, then after that I tend to get lazy about the effort. Without the effort, the bad habit takes hold again.
Sometimes you can replace a bad habit with a good habit. Instead of eating that chocolate as a snack, make up celery with peanut butter.
Turn that bad habit into a profitable habit! Make a monetary penalty decision. For one month, every time I do this, I will put $1.00 in a jar. At the end of the month, reward yourself with something you want...as long as it is not the habit you are trying to break!!
Visualize the goal. Daydream about what it would be like if you did not do the bad habit. How would you feel? Happy, have more energy, less stressed, etc.
Finally, Don't give up!! If you don't suceed the first time, don't give up. Try again with a different approach or combine approaches. Personal accountability, determination and support, armed with those three things and you'll be on the road to saying good-bye to that bad habit!
We are here to give you the Knowledge and Support you need to break those bad habits and begin to form healthy lifelong habits!