Habits are a natural part of our daily routine. But whilst the right habits can lift us up, the wrong habits can easily keep us chained down. To change bad habits into good, we need to understand and use Habit Loop Mechanics.
Step 1: Identify what activity is triggering the bad habit. Do you snack on unhealthy foods whilst watching your favourite TV show? Do you smoke cigarettes when out with friends? Do you skip the gym when it’s raining? Figure out exactly what situations you find yourself in when you have these unhealthy habits so that you can be aware of when they are likely to happen.
Step 2: Replace the unhealthy habit with a healthy one. Find a low-sugar-low-fat snack to eat when watching TV, or do a completely different activity instead so that you won’t even be tempted to reach for unhealthy snacks. Enlist a workout buddy to keep you accountable so you still go to the gym regardless of the weather. Encourage a friend to quit smoking with you so you can both do non-smoking related activities.
Step 3: Create a reward. Whether you find an alternative snack, treat or activity, it must be pleasant in some way to allow the brain’s reward centre to be activated. This will further reinforce and strengthen your new healthy habit so that it becomes a natural part of your day.