Mind

3 Steps to Changing Bad Habits and Forging New Ones

Most people are aware that they need to change certain bad habits. In fact, some even know what to do to self-correct and eliminate those toxic traits. 

However, the most common reason many are unable to turn things around is a simple inability to “see it through.” No matter what your bad habits are, they can be changed if you follow some simple advice. 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried and failed several times. But, unfortunately, most people tend to overcomplicate things, and that’s why they’re unable to produce those permanent changes that they need. 

This post will not only help you turn those bad habits around, but it will also make the change permanent for you.

Start With the 5 Minute Rule

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Photo by Amparo Michel on Unsplash

Let’s say you want to start losing weight. Chances are there are days you won’t want to run or go to the gym. When that happens, implement the 5-minute rule. Tell yourself that you’ll do what you to do for just five minutes. 

And if you don’t feel like it, you can quit. Simply giving yourself permission to stop whenever you want frees up your mind and eliminates the resistance that’s hindering you. 

You’ll often find that you will keep going until you’re done once you start and the momentum builds up. So for any major lifestyle change that you need, use the 5-minute rule.

Start Very Small

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Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

This inability to take the necessary steps arises most of the time because something called ‘goals overwhelms”. People see their big dreams and imagine them in their complete state. 

For instance, if you’re 100 pounds overweight and want to lose weight, chances are you’ll see the picture of a lean you in your mind. But the stark contrast visible when you look in the mirror can make that dream seem unrealistic. 

So what can you do? Start small. Want to lose 100 pounds? Start by surrounding yourself with fit people. Then, start walking for 5-10 minutes a day and build up from there. If you want to cut your drinking, you can start by cutting back on one bottle every time you drink. 

While this is unlike conventional alcohol treatment protocols, it works too. Moreover, it works very well because it gives you the option of going at your own pace. 

Commit to Improving by 1 Percent Every Time 

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

This is known as the one percent rule. Every time you carry out an intended positive action, commit to improving by 1 percent. Even though 1 percent looks minuscule, compounded over time, it can be incredibly powerful. More importantly, it affords you the option of gradual and easy growth. 

For example, if you’re prone to overeating, start reducing your food intake by 1 percent. Set aside 1 percent of your portions at every meal, and before you know it, you’ll soon be eating half your regular meals whilst being full.  

Concluding Thoughts

Change may be hard. But remember that if you approach it gradually and in small steps, you will overcome. And when you achieve those milestones you’ve set, remember to reward yourself. 

This way, your brain will associate the new habits with a good feeling –this is known as positive reinforcement or association– and encourage you to do more. Remember: you can achieve everything you set your mind to. You’ve just got to have the right systems in place. The tips above will help you do just that.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.
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