How to break a bad habit | Step 6

How to break a bad habitWe are doing this! Ain’t life grand?  Have you started your 21 day commitment yet or do you need to know more? I’m guessing you might want a few more tips about how to get out of the habit of having your habit!

I think the hardest part of breaking up with a habit is realising you can never go back. Even if we are desperate to undo something, there is still sadness as we say farewell to our old way of being. Our old us. It’s tough! Find a new daily rhythm will help you say goodbye…

How to break a bad habit

How to break a bad habit - rhythm and routine

Step 6. Implement your substitutions into your routine

Remember our substitutions that went with our distractions? Well, substitutions are key to this whole habit-busting game. Distraction will keep you on track for the short term, but substitution is what will keep you going and going and going.

Don’t just wait for the habit craving to begin before you substitute. Rather, introduce your new regime and work on making it part of your daily rhythm. When I gave up my 20 year diet coke habit, I started having a cup of lemongrass green tea in the mornings and a real tea an hour or two after that. The tea headed off any caffeine cravings that would have hit me later.

Having a cool glass of mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or lime at the ready at all times gave me something to do that wasn’t drinking diet coke and the same strategy worked back when I gave up smoking. What can you do throughout the day that will take your mind off your habit?

If you’re trying to break up with chocolate and you generally find yourself having some after dinner, put a new thing in after dinner to look forward to. Make that thing your ‘full stop’ on all after-dinner eating. Currently as I work to stop my night snacking habit, I’m enjoying a cup of tea after dinner and I’m making that ‘the end’. I’m hoping it will help me live happily ever after too!

Find something new or something new for that time that works for you and make it part of your routine.

It could be a foodie thing:

  • bowl of strawberries or grapes
  • a couple of crackers and cheese
  • a cup of herbal tea
  • plant a vegetable garden and weed it often
  • a glass of iced water with lemon
  • apple
  • yoghurt with fresh berry syrup
  • bake something healthy

It could be a creative thing:

  • colouring in
  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpting
  • knitting
  • crocheting
  • weaving
  • pottering (potting? potterying?)
  • crafting

It could be a sporty thing:

  • Jane Fonda workout videos (don’t forget the leggings)
  • a rousing game of tennis
  • a walk around the block
  • a flat-out run to the end of the street
  • a bike ride
  • hopscotch
  • jump on the trampoline
  • handball
  • yoga

It could be a luxurious thing:

  • bubble bath
  • paint your nails
  • give yourself a hand massage
  • cuddle your man
  • all over body scrub
  • homemade facial

Take this opportunity to introduce a healthy new daily habit that will take the place of your old evil habit. A further tip: whenever you think you can’t resist the lure of your habit, simply have a glass of water instead.

Homework for today

Make a list of when your habit crops up in your daily routine – mornings, afternoons, evenings, night, middle of the night, keep it all covered. Think about something else you could be doing rather than doing your habit. Introduce that new thing (or things) into your day tomorrow.

Is your habit a one-off during the day (eg. skipping breakfast) or is it an ongoing battle (eg. smoking)?

{Almost there!! Click here to go to Step 7 when you’re ready!}

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