Get rid of bad habits and establish good ones – 10 steps!

Get rid of bad habits and establish good ones – 10 steps!

Do you also have some annoying habits that limit you in your life and prevent you from evolving positively? We show you how to get rid of negative habits in ten steps and instead establish positive daily routines.

What are habits?

Habits are recurring behaviors that have been internalized through regular repetition. Thus, in certain situations, an automatic reaction is triggered without our consciously thinking about it. Shoe tying, tooth brushing or driving are examples. These subconscious automatisms take over 50% of daily decisions and thus relieve the brain. Without these habits, we would not have the energy to react quickly in stressful situations.

How are habits formed?

Habits are formed according to the following principle:

  • Craving (conscious choice of a behavior)
  • Reward (relief, dopamine release)
  • Routine (habit effect)

If this succession of mechanisms often occurs in the same way, this information passes in the brain from the conscious (frontal cortex) to the subconscious (basal ganglia) and is anchored there.

What is the difference between good and bad habits?

Good habits are generally understood to mean both the daily automatisms that make life easier and the regular activities that make you feel good in the long run and keep you mentally healthy.

Bad habits, on the other hand, tend to drag you down, prevent you from being satisfied or have only a very brief positive effect, such as eating chocolate when you feel stressed. Certain thought patterns can also become disabling habits, such as always thinking the worst or always blaming yourself.

How long does it take to change habits?

Once a pattern of action has become a habit, it is much harder for us to notice and change the behavior. As a rule, it takes at least two months to break an old habit or to anchor a new one in the subconscious. It is precisely at the beginning of the adaptation phase that it is still laborious, but as soon as the new behaviors are consolidated in the subconscious, it is much easier for you to implement them.

Briefly step outside yourself in the situation in question, tap yourself on the shoulder in an imaginary way and say, “Uh, hello? You know that yourself, right? You can get through this, you just have to want it and do it. Because it’s like wanting, but more twisted  —-Nicole Staudinger

How do you get rid of bad habits?

Have you developed a habit of adopting certain negative behaviors that annoy you and make you dissatisfied? In six steps, you will learn to identify the causes and triggers of your bad habits and finally leave them behind.

Step 1: Consciously recognize the habits

First of all, it is important that you identify what weighs you down on a daily basis, what you can change and what you cannot. To do this, it can be helpful to be alone or to talk about your habits with friends. Also, keep a journal to document exactly how and when bad habits occur.

Step 2: Find the causes

Disabling habits usually don’t develop without a reason. It’s important to find out why these negative behaviours have become part of your life. Get a sense of what event might have triggered the original impulse. By recognizing that the habit may have been there for a reason, but that it is now rather uncomfortable for you, you can better identify it and get rid of it.

Step 3: Identify the triggers

In addition to the causes of your annoying habits, it is important to identify the events in your daily life that trigger these automatisms. If you have identified such external stimuli for your habits, you can become aware of your behavior at those times and redirect it to a more positive approach to the situation.

Step 4: Find alternatives

The best way to change habits is to adopt alternative behaviors. Forbidding yourself a certain response triggers negative feelings and even resistance. Instead, think about what would feel good in the long run in a given situation and how you would prefer to behave. You can find inspiring habits of positive thinkers here.

Tip: Habit change happens faster if, instead of saying “I shouldn’t…”, you start your inner guideline with “Instead of…”.

Step 5: Take the setbacks with compassion and humour

Unfortunately, you can’t break bad habits overnight. It takes time to change fixed behaviors, as if you’ve always walked down the same path and now you have to pick your way through the underbrush to create a new one. That’s why you should view failures with humor. Be aware when the old habit returns and then steer your behavior in a new direction.

In my toolbox for the road to happiness, I put the deep conviction that we are not entitled to anything and that we should opt for a healthy lifestyle, for a healthy TODAY ——Nicole Staudinger

Building good habits step by step – here’s how you do it

You’ve always wanted to learn a new language, exercise more or eat healthier, but your inner pig won’t let you? We’ll tell you how to implement new positive habits step by step and make them stick in the long run.

Step 1: Start with micro habits

You won’t be able to implement all your good resolutions in a few days. At the same time, it’s important that you start anyway. It is therefore advisable to start with small habits, which are easier to integrate into your daily life. For example, if you have decided to meditate more, start with the three mini-meditations for beginners. Over time, you can continue to develop your meditation routine. The best thing to do is to make a bucket list, write down your goals, and then think about what you can implement in small steps.

Step 2: Make it as easy as possible

If you have to dig your yoga mat out of the depths of your closet or buy the ingredients for the smoothie first, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to implement these new habits. So it’s important that everything you need is readily available. Instead, place the yoga mat in the corner of the room where you see it regularly or always have some fruits and vegetables at home so you can spontaneously make a healthy snack and eat it when you feel like it.

Step 3: Set goals and record successes

To establish long-term positive habits in your subconscious, it’s a good idea to set goals for your development. For example, you might set a goal of one hour per day or you might set a goal of walking to work every day for two months. Also note why you want to establish this new habit, what it should improve in the future and how it will make you happier. In difficult times, you can then look back at what you’ve achieved so far and what positive changes await you in the end.

Step 4: Make positive resolutions

Write down motivational resolutions or mantras on small pieces of paper to help you establish new positive habits. You can spread them around your apartment, stick them on your mirrors or on your lunch box. You can also use your mantras as wallpaper on your smartphone or laptop. This way, you will always be reminded of your goals and why these new habits will benefit you in the long run.

Conclusion: change your habits with patience and reflection

Whether it’s bad habits you want to get rid of or positive changes in your life, be patient with yourself. Everything will not get better all at once, habits are too deeply rooted in your subconscious. Always think about what you want to do differently in the future, how you want to behave and what will make it easier for you to change to new behaviors. It takes a lot of perseverance and time, but in the end, you will notice that some things suddenly become much easier and automatic.