Some habits are good and easy to enforce, such as brushing your teeth or making the bed.
But other habits, such as pressing the snooze button and procrastinating with projects, can be detrimental to your well-being and success.
These types of habits can also be res hard to break.
When you’re a new entrepreneur building a side venture, breaking bad habits is key to increasing your productivity.
If bad habits are ruining your business and hindering you from achieving your goals, read on.
With the tips below, you can understand how habits are formed and how you can replace negative habits good.
How to get rid of bad habits
It takes more than motivation to break a bad habit. If you try to rely only on self-control and determination, you will probably not be able to eliminate your weaknesses.
You will also need a game plan to succeed.
1. Understand how habits are formed
Charles Duhigg, author The power of habit, breaks the formation of habits into a 3-part loop: a cue, a routine, and a reward.
Yours cue it can be an action, emotion, or part of your environment that triggers behavior. More often than not, when you perform the behavior, it becomes your normal part routine.
Yours award is the temporary satisfaction you get from performing a routine act.
Habits are so hard to break because every time you experience a reward, you strengthen your routine.
Once you can pinpoint the rewards that drive your actions and identify the signs that lead to your negative routines, you can change your habits.
2. Determine your triggers and rewards
Identifying hints that trigger your negative habits can help you avoid them or at least change your response to them.
Let’s say you have a habit of wasting time scrolling through Instagram when you should be working.
The next time you open the app when you shouldn’t, write down the answers to these questions:
- What thoughts, emotions, activities, or impulses led to this habit?
- What environment were you in?
- What was the outcome?
- Was it really helpful?
3. Identify your “Why”
Your mindset plays a big role in changing your habits.
Consider why you want to break the habit, and list the benefits of change.
Writing down motivation to change your behavior can be very motivating. You may also discover reasons to give up a habit you weren’t even aware of before.
When you write your reasons, keep your list close. Stick it on the mirror, stick it on the car visor, hang it on the fridge … you understand.
Give me your list why is in a prominent place will help you be on the right track when it gets hard, and remind you why you should get up again if you slip and fall back into old habits.
4. Visualize your success
When you outline yours why and think about the benefits of changing habits, visualize success.
In your mind, imagine yourself in a trigger situation. You may be lying in bed on a Saturday morning when you are blocked for side work for the next three hours.
Instead of pressing the snooze again and cutting yourself in an already limited amount of time, imagine yourself turning off the alarm clock, getting out of bed, and staying with the task.
Feel the satisfaction of overcoming your habit and suppressing your goals, and think how much more rewarding this will be than sleeping within yourself.
Then go do it!
5. Set realistic goals
Listing a number of goals for yourself and your business can be inspiring, but don’t bite off more than you can chew.
When it comes to changing habits, usually the best strategy is to choose one or two habits and keep them small to begin with.
You may have a bad habit of relying too much on caffeine to help you through your hours as a warrior on the weekends.
Instead of throwing away a coffee pot, which is likely to cause an unpleasant headache, exhaustion, and a lot of irritability, try reducing it by one cup a day and working from there.
6. Be patient with yourself
Contrary to popular myth, it will probably take more than 21 days for a new habit to persist. The same goes for giving up habits.
If you have trouble getting rid of the habit after a few weeks, don’t fight too much.
While you may need to adjust your strategy and re-evaluate your tips and rewards, you may need to give it more time.
In that sense, don’t let one mistake completely derail you. Breaking a habit you’ve solidified over the years requires time, perseverance, and hard work.
If you press a snooze, start moving, or miss a deadline, don’t despair over yourself or your goals.
Get back together, think about your failure, and focus on a different response the next time you are triggered.
7. Replace your bad habit with a constructive one
If your plan is to simply avoid your bad behavior every time a trigger appears, your willpower may not be enough to get you through.
Let’s go back to the coffee case. When you feel like pouring yourself a hot cup of Joe, sitting still and typing probably won’t put out your desire.
However, if the reward you’re really looking for is a break to spend enjoying a hot drink, a cup of decaffeinated coffee or hot tea may come in handy.
Once you know your triggers, behaviors, and outcomes, consider rewarding alternatives and incorporate them into your plan.
8. Embed responsibility
Sharing your shortcomings with other people, even those you trust, can be difficult.
But if you don’t allow anyone to achieve your goals, you’re much less likely to achieve them.
Knowing that someone is counting on you and will ask you about your progress can motivate you to stick to your goals and consistently target your bad habits.
Bonus points if you can find someone on a similar path who can connect with your struggles and goals.
If you find another entrepreneur who faces the same temptations as you and has a desire to give up the same habits, it can keep you on track and create a sense of camaraderie.
9. Use a habit tracking app
Setting reminders, tracking progress, and sharing victories are important parts of changing your habits and growing your business.
Fortunately, there are some creative apps to help you follow your habits.
Here are some of the best:
- Habitica: Habitica plays on your goals. When you stick to good habits / avoid bad ones, your Avatar builds statistics and progresses in an app-based game.
- Habitify: Habitify is a clean, minimalist interface that allows you to easily monitor your progress and view your habits on a variety of data views.
- string: Proge allows Apple users to set daily (or less common) habits, sync with the iOS Health app, and receive notifications and reminders.
- StickK: Z StickK, enter into a contract with yourself, set your goals and parameters, and then choose between optional incentives, such as a contract with a friend or financial investments.
- HabitShare: HabitShare combines responsibility and social media, allowing you to share your monitoring habits with friends.
10. Reward yourself
Breaking the habit is not an easy task and deserves a reward!
Habits are based on signs and rewards, so it is important to replace the apparent reward offered by bad habits with even better ones.
In addition to knowing that your actions will be more rewarding in the long run, give yourself more tangible rewards in the present.
Every time you say no to a bad habit, give yourself a reward.
Even if it’s just a pat on the back or a “good job,” take a moment and celebrate your accomplishments.
For bigger wins, plan bigger prizes, such as celebrating with friends or feasting on your favorite meal.
Instead of focusing on how far you still have to go, look at the distance you’ve traveled and celebrate your progress.
Start getting rid of bad habits today
If you are trying to take your business venture to the next level and suspect that your bad habits are to blame, you are already on the right track.
Awareness of our negative habits and their causes is the first step to eradicating them.
Take some time to monitor your routines all processes and systems that make up your day, and see what traps you fall into over and over again.
From there, set yourself some realistic goals to break them down, following the advice above.
I can promise that the rewards you prioritize productivity and practicing good habits will be much greater than the temporary relief you get when practicing a bad habit.
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