5 Easy Steps to Eliminate an Old habit

Debra Jones

Jan 2017

According to The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, you cannot eliminate a habit simply by an intention (or New Year's Resolution) to break it - it must be REPLACED with a new one.

STEP ONE: Notice the pattern of your habit

A cue is anything that can trigger a routine.  It could be a place, a situation, a time...  Do you exercise your habit when you're around particular people?  Do you indulge this habit each day at a particular time?  Do you succumb to this habit whenever you're stressed?   Keeping a journal is an excellent way to notice patterns in your behaviour.

STEP TWO:  Decide what to replace your old unwanted habit with 

This needs to be practical and actionable.  Your old habit gave you a hit of dopamine, the 'feel good' chemical, and because you WANT to feel good, you're wired to repeat a habit that makes you feel good.  Therefore, the ONLY way to replace an unwanted habit is to create a replacement habit that makes you feel AS GOOD AS, if not better than, the old habit.    

STEP THREE:  Reward yourself often

It is important to reinforce new behaviour with a reward - something positive that makes you want to repeat it.  Write your goal on paper or create a vision board of pictures that represent your goal so that you will be reminded of the ultimate reward when tempted to return to your old habit.  Also, plan to give yourself a reward through different stages or phases towards your goal. 

STEP FOUR:  Establish a support system

Without belief that change is possible, change is impossible.   To succeed in creating a new habit you need to be accountable to it.  It is important to have support from friends, family or a higher power to turn to when you're challenged and to encourage you to continue when you feel like giving up.  Write a list of potential problems that may tempt you to give up.  Then beside each one, write solutions on what you'll do to overcome them.


2017 is the year of New Beginnings

On January 1st we enter the 1:1:1 Portal, meaning that we all have Universal Support to start anything new!  Harness this support and make 2017 your best year yet!