Some examples are:
- Procrastinating in the evening and watching rubbish TV instead of doing something constructive.
- Procrastinating at work on Facebook instead of diving straight into something productive.
- Doing too much work for others.
- Using the phone all the time and stressing yourself out with unnecessary information.
The problem is, habits are… well habitual. Due to repetition, they become very deeply ingrained not only in terms of the neural networks they form but also in terms of the other routines we build up around them.
So how do you start changing these habits?
Change Your Routines & Environments
There’s actually more of a connection between the neural side of your habits and the lifestyle factors than you might realize.
The key to understand is that the routines and habits you have built up can become triggers. Thus, the moment you’re left alone in the hose, you might load up YouTube. It’s that moment of your partner/family/housemate leaving through the door that starts firing that neural pathway that leads to the ingrained behavior.
One way to break out of those bad habits then is to remove those triggers and the associations. How do you do this?
By changing your environment and by changing your routines.
This is actually one of the reasons that drug and alcohol addicts are often taken to rehab – it takes them out of their usual environment and removes the triggers that can trigger those bad habits. Of course you’re no addict, but a long holiday or just a change to your routine can make a difference.
Make it Easy
While you’re in the process of changing your habits and routines, then you should also try and make sure that your new set-up makes it as easy as possible for you to succeed. If your aim was to go to the gym more, than would mean joining a nearby gym and it would mean setting your gym kit out on the bed night before.
In this case? It means being vocal about your plans and it means making changes like turning off your phone. If your phone is off at a certain time – even installing apps that restrict usage! Set yourself up for victory and ideally it should be easier to stick to the new goals than it is to fail on them.