How to Break Bad Habits

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You are your habits. Your habits determine your success. You become what you repeatedly do. . . yada yada yada. . . Heard any of this before? I’m sure you have.

Have you ever thought about what bad habits you have and what habits you want to do each day?  Do you understand what make habits actually stick forever versus a couple days?

Well you are in the right place. We are going to get you a plan to break the habits you want to break and create habits you want to stick to.

My Story

Before baby: I could take time cooking, eat slowly, work out whenever I wanted, read whenever I wanted, pray whenever I wanted- basically not having the responsibility of another human makes life quite breezy. I ate well, exercised, and invested into my personal growth. I thought I had pretty good habits, turns out, I just had time.

With a baby: little time for cooking, eating slowly, or personal growth. In this new season of life, I found some bad habits starting to form:

  1. I would eat while cooking each meal: Every day I cook every meal for my husband and little one and found that I would just eat while cooking, serve them their food, and then clean up the entire kitchen while they were eating. This created a bad habit of snacking on anything I am making. By the time I was actually done I had no idea how much an actually ate AND I did not eat in a relaxed state (which is the most important part of eating). I was so surprised how hard this habit was for me to break.
  2. Scrolling through my phone before bed. BAD, BAD habit.
  3. Not having a consistent time of prayer, reading, and meditation.

So. I found what habits I wanted to break and which habits I wanted to create and made a plan.

Habits to break

  • eating while cooking and eating ridiculously fast
  • looking at social media at night and randomly throughout the day

Habits to create

  • eating in a relaxed present state
  • prayer/meditation morning and night
  • bible each day
  • decrees + bible verses out loud each day
  • planning next day the day before – 3 personal things 3 work things
  • no phone right before bed
  • no social on Sabbath
  • move everyday

I am not going to go into the brain science in this post (you can learn about that here and here). I am going to show you how to create an outline for habit change.

Caroline Leaf does a fantastic job explaining how to rewire you brain.

The 3 R’s of Habit Change: How to Break Bad Habits

Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern.

  • Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
  • Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
  • Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)

To create a habit- you need to establish what your trigger will be, then you do it, then you reward yourself.

To break a habit- you need to be aware of what triggers you to do it, then change your routine, then reward yourself.

To trigger yourself, I like to connect habits to things I always do every day.

Plan to Create Habits

  1. Getting daughter ready in the morning: decrees + Bible verses
  2. Daughter goes down for nap: Bible + meditation + life basket
  3. When sitting down for meal- breath, bless food
  4. Before bed: Meditation + prayer

Plan to stop habits

How to Make this easy

  • Create life basket have it in office altogether
  • Have things to suck on right on the counter
  • Have book ready at night

Your Turn: Habit Outline

As cliche as it sounds, habits are the most important thing you could ever focus on.

How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits.

How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits.

How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.

What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.

You need to purposefully control your thoughts and actions for a period of time so you autopilot is working for you instead of against you.

Exercising. Eating right. Drinking water. Reading. Praying. Purposefully controlling your thoughts. Not being addicted to media. Let’s make all of these things habits, together!

Habit Outline

  • What habits do you want to break?
  • What Habits do you want to create?

Habits to Create:

  • What will be your trigger to do it?
  • What will be your reward after you do it?
  • How can you set things up to make it easy?

Habits to Break:

  • What is triggering you to do it?
  • When do you feel that trigger, what is something else you will do that will still give you a reward?
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