1. You’re never going to change unless you want to change. If you don’t think your bad habit is that bad and are convinced you aren’t really harming yourself, then you probably aren’t going to put in enough effort to make a change. You’re probably going to continue living the same exact way you are right now because you aren’t motivated enough. You aren’t compelled to better yourself.
2. Breaking a bad habit is never easy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to quit smoking, quit chewing your nails, or quit texting your toxic ex. When something becomes a pattern, it’s hard to break out of your learned routine. That’s why you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you’re struggling to succeed. You shouldn’t underestimate how difficult it is to accomplish what you’re trying to achieve.
3. It’s okay if you have setbacks. You’re only human. You’re going to screw up. And when that happens, you can’t convince yourself you’re back to square one. You can’t convince yourself all your hard work went to waste. You still did a good job. You should still be proud of yourself. The one thing you shouldn’t do is assume messing up once means you’re allowed to keep messing up since your streak is now ruined. You have to get right back on the horse.
4. Treat yourself with kindness. If talking down to yourself and threatening yourself hasn’t been helping, then you should try taking an alternative route. Try encouraging yourself. Instead of attacking yourself when you’re having a rough time, tell yourself, “If you get through this craving, you can get through them all.” Be your own biggest supporter.
5. Stay mindful of your cravings. The next time you have the urge to engage in your bad habit, write down the time of day and what’s on your mind at the time. That way, you can see whether there’s any correlations. If talking to a certain person always triggers your bad habits, you might need to cut them out of your life. If a certain thought triggers the habit, you might have to figure out why it bothers you so much. In order to break the bad habit, you might need to work on other areas of your life as well.
6. Replace your bad habits with better ones. If you usually pull out your hair or pick pimples to relieve stress, find a new outlet. Exercise. Paint. Squeeze a stress ball. Spin a fidget spinner. Do something differently that will help you relieve your stress without hurting you in the process.
7. Celebrate your small victories. It might not feel like a big deal when you go a full day without engaging in your bad habit, but it is. You should get excited whenever you reach another milestone. Twenty-four hours. Forty-eight hours. A week. A month. Don’t shrug off your achievements. Celebrate them.
8. Believe you can do this. If you assume you’re going to fail, then you’re already setting yourself up for that failure. You have to visualize success. Tell yourself you can do this. Believe you have the strength — because you do!