Five Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

Research says 40 percent of our actions are habits, not conscious decisions. A habit is defined as a behavior that is repeated frequently and automatically. So how do you stop it?

Understand the habit. Become aware of what behavior you find yourself doing that you want to stop. Acknowledge why you want to stop it. Is it affecting your health? Finances? Relationships?

Identify the trigger. Recognize what is causing you to act and again why.

Identify the reinforcement. Is there any benefit to your habit? Perhaps there is a benefit to stopping your habit that you can use as motivation to quit.

Journal your progress. Studies show if you keep a record of your behavior, you are more likely to change it because you become more aware of your actions. In other words, the more you can recognize the behavior, the less automatic it will seem, which gives you more control.

Find a replacement. Replace the action with something more beneficial for you. The urge will become easier to manage if you find an appropriate replacement response.

By Certified Personal Trainer Kathy Harris

By Certified Personal Trainer Kathy Harris


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