How to break bad habits.
Your brain craves routine.
A habit is a form of repeating something over and over to the point where you don’t have to think about it.
For instance, when driving to familiar places your brain doesn’t think about it. You’re on autopilot.
When it comes to self-discipline it is hard to reverse things we are so accustomed to doing, even if we want to stop DOING that thing.
“A useful tool to combat this and break the habit is called a pattern interrupt.”
A pattern interrupt is something you can use to interrupt the routine BEFORE you get to the point of temptation and then have to rely on willpower.
Becoming aware of the patterns, habits and routines that LEAD you to your fatal decision will help you interrupt them before you get to the end of the pattern when it is already too late.
Here is an example.
You often rush getting ready for work in the morning
Your motivation for the gym is waning.
Whether you train in the morning or evening, you are leaving the house dressed for the gym or bringing your gym clothes with you.
If you are in an extreme rush you may not even bring them at all.
You think to yourself, “ll stop home later before the gym to get them and change.”
Look how many things just got in your way.
- An extra trip home
- Having another task added to your do list
- The temptations of never leaving home again once you get there
Insert Patter interrupt.
If your intentions are right, AND they always are, then lay out your clothes the night before. Pack your gym bag or leave your gym clothes laid out and ready to put on in the morning.
This one simple thing at the BEGINNING of your usual routine will cause the likelihood of the END result (arriving at the gym) more prone to happen.
And Guess What.
Do that enough times and slowly the new habit will be the one taking over. You will be auto-piloting yourself to the gym not the couch.
What are the common routines you see yourself doing BEFORE your bad habit occurs?
Think about the pattern that leads up to this habit.
What is first step in this routine and how can you eliminate this FIRST, not last step?
Comment below and let me know if you come up with anything good.
Look out next week for Part 2, where I explain the 4 weakest moods we get into that lead us down the path of our bad habits.