It's tough to change a habit that has been rooted in your daily life. Your mind remembers stable patterns and pushes you to react to triggers with corresponding routines. You barely notice these patterns when everything's going well, and it's easy to use willpower to ignore random temptations when your good habits are deeply ingrained.
So, what can you do to get rid of unhealthy patterns of behavior? First, recognize when you perform the bad habit and why. You can do this by figuring out the key elements of your habit:
- Cue (trigger) — I get bored at work.
- Routine (your reaction to the cue) — I get up and go outside for a cigarette.
- Reward (pleasant feedback that you receive) — Smoke breaks help me recharge my mind.