This Is The Lazy Way To Kill Bad Habits: 8 Secrets From Research

Sum Up

Here’s how to get rid of those awful bad habits:

  • One at a time. Beat one bad habit per month and in a year you’ll be awesome.
  • Don’t stop. Just count. Don’t eliminate the bad behavior just yet. First, be consistent in your awfulness.
    • Don’t try to reduce the habit, reduce the variability in the habit.

       

    • This tiny effort toward self-control can lead to a decrease in bad habits over time, unconsciously.

       

  • Don’t change you. Change your world. 20 second rule. Make it harder to engage in bad habits.
    • Don’t change yourself. Change your context. We engage in habits because of “triggers” in our environment. Remove the triggers or make them more difficult to reach and you’re less likely to engage in the behavior.

       

    • Every day I download Instagram on my iPhone and every day I delete Instagram off my iPhone. Does it sound like I have a problem? Nope. It’s a great way to make sure I only check it once a day.

       

    • Make bad habits 20 seconds harder to begin and you’re far less likely to engage in them.

       

  • Chill, dude. Stress makes the bad stuff tempting. Relax and you’ll behave better.
  • Don’t eliminate. Replace. You can’t kill bad habits but you can swap them out for new ones.
    • Notice what triggers your bad behavior and then replace your usual response with a new one that gives you a different (but still pleasurable) reward.
  • “If” and “Then.” A simple plan for how you’ll beat temptation helps you beat temptation.
    • …deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal (e.g., “If it is 4 p.m., then I will return any phone calls I should return today”) can double or triple your chances for success.
  • Forgive yourself. Beating yourself up makes you behave worse. Self-compassion keeps you going.
    • The diet is blown when you eat the one cookie and say, “I give up” — and then devour the rest of the bag.What does science say we should do when we lose self-control or procrastinate? Forgive yourself and move on.
    • Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power. In contrast, self-compassion— being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure— is associated with more motivation and better self-control.

       

And what’s the final tip?

Peer pressure is a good thing — when you use it strategically. Mom wanted you to hang out with the smart kids in school because they provided good examples. Mom was right.

It’s simple, really. Hang out with people who you want to be. Procrastinate a lot? Spend more time with uber-productive friends. Want to get in shape? Hang around those healthy-eating gym addicts.

This Is The Lazy Way To Kill Bad Habits: 8 Secrets From Research

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