Losing a Bad Habit is hard as fu*k but try breaking your habit down with these realistic timelines..
Having a bad habit is hard because you try to break it only to find that it’s too hard, and then you feel bad; it creates a spiral of negativity between feeling bad and falling deeper. However, the reason why you haven’t quit before could be because you give up too early. According to recent studies, it takes around 65 days to lose a bad habit completely and develop a new one.
What Are Habits? – Habits are acts that are stuck in the ‘habit loop’ and have been for some time – trigger – routine – reward. When you get bored or tired, you might get into the habit of eating. Suddenly, something will trigger this desire, and then we fulfill it. The problem with this process is the ‘reward’ phase because the habit is something that we like; in no way does this mean it is good for us, it just means we feel rewarded by the habit.
Over time, a habit that is in the loop will grow stronger and stronger until it seems almost impossible to break. However, this new 65-day plan may just help you better than any plan you have tried before.
First 10 Days – Once you have identified a habit you want to lose, you have to look inwards and find the triggers that create the ‘need’ for this habit. For example, do you eat because you’re bored, sad, depressed, lonely? Whatever your habit may be, spend some time looking inwards and find what your triggers are.
Days 11-40 – For the next few weeks, you need to tell everybody you know that you are in the process of breaking your habit. If you don’t tell anyone, the consequences of a mistake are minimal. If you tell all your family, friends, colleagues, and even your mail carrier, you will be called out when you slip up. Make sure they are ready to put you in your place should you start to slip; keep reminding them that this is important to you.
Days 41-65 – The toughest part of this section is that you are quite likely to collapse, but you have to ensure that you keep your head in the game and remember the triggers. Knowing how to notice triggers and deal with them quickly and efficiently is the only way you are going to turn this into a long-term success.
Ultimately, this process is purely psychological, and you need to reward yourself when you do well. Although the end goal will be to lose the habit and this brings its own rewards, be ready to treat yourself, and you will be less likely to fail in the future. Also, it may take you a few days extra if you had a couple of relapses in the middle but as long as you stay focused and remember the tips above, you should be good to go!