How To Form A Habit?
Habits are our tendencies to subconsciously perform similar actions for a considerable period of time. Our decisions become our actions. When we repeat our actions, they become our habits and our habits shape our lives.
To create a new habit, it’s important to understand the process. After a habit is formed, it works like a loop. First, there is a cue or a trigger, for instance, an urge to smoke. Second, when you act upon the trigger and follow the routine, it can be physical, emotional or mental. For e.g., smoking is a physical act and getting angry is an emotional act. Third, the reward that you get out of acting upon the trigger. For instance, the satisfaction you get after you smoke a cigarette or when you vent out your anger on someone.
How To Turn Something Completely New Into A Habit?
If you want to form a habit which is completely new to you, you can follow the steps listed below.
1. Make A Decision
First of all, you have to make a decision about something and you must stick to it. It is quite important for you to think carefully before you make a decision as your new habit will have a huge impact on your life.
2. Don’t Allow Exceptions To Come Your Way
Exceptions are the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to forming new habits. For instance, if you are trying to learn horse riding and plan to go every day, you must go for it every day without exception.
3. Never Procrastinate
Procrastination is another big enemy on your way to form a habit. If you keep delaying, procrastination becomes a habit and you will never be able to form a habit. In fact, procrastination itself is the difference between success and failure for a lot of people. If you want to achieve anything in life, give up procrastination.
4. Commit For A Specific Time Period
Commit for a period of three or four weeks before you expect any results. Our habits are a part of our subconscious mind and you must allow them enough time to become a part of your mindset.
5. Set Achievable Goals
It can be quiet difficult for you to form new habits unless you set goals that are achievable for you. For the first week, set relatively easy goals and you can increase the challenge as you plan ahead.
How To Give Up An Old Habit?
You not only need to form new habits but also give up old habits that you think are harmful to you. Let’s look at the steps.
1. Make A Decision
Identify the habit that you want to give up. Make a decision and make sure that you stick to it. You need to know why do you want to give up the habit and you should remember it. You must be ready to give up the reward that you get out of it.
2. Watch The Trigger
Whenever you feel the temptation to act upon it, stop there without exception. As you practice it, it will become easier for you over a period of time. You must give up the reward you get by resisting your temptations.
3. Choose An Alternative Reward
Instead of simply resisting the temptation, you can also provide an alternative to your system to satiate your cravings. For instance, whenever you feel an urge to smoke, you can have a cup of coffee or green tea. The reward mechanism in your brain will get altered and it can get easier for you to give up your old habits.
4. Never Go Back To It
Remember, your brain never forgets the old habits completely. If you act upon your urge even once after giving up your habit, there’s a very good chance that you will fall into the loop again.
Our habits make us who we are and that’s why we cannot allow external forces to control our habits. Success and failure are outcomes of our habits. By taking control of our habits, we can take complete control of our lives.