How To Break A Negative Habit In 66 Days

Overcoming a negative habit can be difficult, yet it is fully attainable with the right mindset and strategy. Achieving it involves committing to altering your habits, which demands persistence, patience, and a well-organized plan. In this article, I’ll outline 12 practical steps to assist you in breaking a negative habit in an average of 66 days.

How Long Does It Take?

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There is considerable debate about the time required to break and establish a new habit, but a recent study found that it typically takes 66 days. Substituting old negative habits with new positive ones can help reinforce the change within yourself, but you must be willing to see it through to see effective change.

What Do You Want To Change?

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If you want to change something, you must be able to pinpoint it and understand the mechanisms behind what causes the behavior, action, habit, etc. Work on your self-awareness and reflect on the specific things you want to change or modify. Having a clear objective in mind can help you achieve the goal and solidify the change you want to see.

Learn What Triggers You

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After you identify the habits and behaviors you want to change, you can start to identify what triggers them or causes you to exhibit that behavior. This helps you develop ways to avert them with more positive behavior, actions, and responses. Start keeping a journal to track the cycles and patterns of things that trigger your unwanted behavior.

Define your Goals

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Something you can do to help yourself break a negative habit is to set goals for yourself that are clearly defined and attainable. If you know exactly what the bigger picture is, you can then begin to break it down piece by piece and draw a clear path to achieve it. You can set smaller milestones that make the overall goal seem less daunting.

replace it with a better habit

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One of the best things you can do to break a bad habit is to put a new one in its place that makes you feel much better and is more valuable to your life. If you want to stop smoking, instead, start eating clean fruits and veggies to curb your cravings. If you want to stop watching so much television, replace your TV time with reading, games with friends and family, or a new fun hobby that can substitute the habit you want to break.

support from others

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Having a community of people you trust and love can greatly impact your ability to break a bad habit and solidify new ones. If you have the support of people who want the best for you, they can help hold you accountable and remind you why you want to be better in the first place. Lean on your friends and family for support, encouragement, and discipline.

Commit To Change

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One way to break a negative habit is by truly committing to cutting it out of your life. Giving yourself reminders throughout the day can help in many ways. Life can be busy, and it’s easy to simply forget that we are trying to implement change, so setting reminders on your phone or Post-it notes can be a great way to ensure we stay conscious and committed to the change we want to make.

Utilize Meditation

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Meditating helps you sit still, get quiet, and hear what is going on within you. Doing so helps you become more aware of your habits, triggers, behaviors, and what drives them. Awareness is the first step in changing, so meditation (or even being mindful and present with yourself in silence) can assist you in breaking your negative habits and implementing new ones.

Celebrate Your Wins

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Celebrating yourself and your small wins is a great way to reinforce to yourself that success comes after you work for it. Hitting even the little milestones can be a big deal, especially when you’re trying to replace old, negative habits with new ones. This can also help motivate you to keep making progress.

Stay conscious of how far you’ve come

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Regularly assessing your progress can maintain motivation and facilitate essential adjustments to your strategy. Dedicate time each week to evaluate what’s working and what’s not and narrow in on areas that need improvement. Doing so will help you stay focused and sharp in your approach to change.

Patience Pays

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Overcoming a habit requires time and determination. Setbacks may occur, but it’s crucial to remain undeterred. It’s worth noting that, on average, breaking a habit can take about 66 days, so patience and consistent effort are key. Every day brings you one step closer to achieving your objective. The small, repeated acts of dedication will be what yield the best results for you.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

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Perfectionism can significantly hinder the process of breaking a habit. It’s crucial to steer clear of a mentality where it’s all or nothing or thinking there’s no room for trial and error where one mistake is perceived as total defeat. Rather, treat any setbacks as chances to learn and persist in your efforts. It’s the regularity of actions over time that results in enduring transformation.

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