For many of us men, changing bad behaviors and habits is not always easy. Some of us find all kinds of excuses, while others begin with the best intentions but become quickly sidetracked. There are people out there who struggle to stick with a workout routine or a healthy diet, and there are those who just let the negative voices in their heads decide for them.
Catching ourselves and staying in rhythm may be difficult. But with the right practice, focus, and planning, it is always possible to change those habits without resistance. Regardless of how big or serious that habit is, eating unhealthy food or drinking caffeine too late in the day, there are ways to drop them. Listed below are some of the things you need to do.
1. Determine your triggers
The first thing to do is to identify what triggers your habitual behaviors. It is ideal for spending time monitoring your habits and figure out the patterns. How do you feel when you do them? What time or where the habitual behaviors happen? Do they happen right after a certain activity? Are there other individuals involved?
For example, let’s say you want to stop sleeping too late in the day, and after several days of tracking, you discover the triggers. You stay up late because you spend too much time using your phone or chatting with your friends. Removing those will then makes it harder for you to carry out the routine of staying up past midnight.
2. Focus on your whys
Like with any other goals, you need to determine why you want to change something. If the change is beneficial and valuable to you, it’ll be much easier to change the bad habits. Spend time to think about your reason for dropping a certain habit and the perks you see at the end of the road. To give you more motivation, we recommend writing all these down on a piece of paper. You can then stick it in your bathroom mirror, on the fridge, or anywhere you can see it regularly.
3. Prepare for discomfort
It is important to know that there will be discomfort (a big chunk of it) when breaking unwanted habits. This is even more expected if your goal is to improve physical fitness, lose weight, change your current lifestyle, or achieve better nutrition. You might feel you’re depriving yourself of those yummy pizzas you love eating every day because you’re striving to eat healthier meals. Have the willingness to accept the discomforts. That will help you stay on the track where you want to go.
4. Motivate yourself with rewards
Sometimes, we need that little push and motivation to keep us focused on our goals. Dropping unwanted behavior is extremely tough. But giving yourself rewards and acknowledgment can boost your driver and increase your confidence to keep doing what you’re doing.
You can have small motivators like telling yourself you did a good job or big ones like treating yourself to a laser hair treatment or buying those shoes you’ve always wanted to get. Celebrating your wins can help you focus on your progress and keep trying. It is also beneficial in preventing yourself from engaging in negative self-talk or becoming discouraged.
5. Seek a friend’s support
For added motivation, having someone on this journey will make it easier or lighter for you. They could be breaking an unwanted habit too, or just there to help you stay focused. For example, you and your friend want to quit eating unhealthy fast food meals. Dealing with this on your own can be hard.
But doing it with a friend would be fun. You can both agree to cook the meals yourself or even do the groceries together. Make it a point to encourage and cheer for each other. If your friend doesn’t have an unwanted habit they want to drop, you can tell them about yours so that they can remind you of your goals and encourage you in times of doubt.
It is essential to recognize that breaking unwanted habits is a never-ending journey. There is no absolute assurance that you won’t go back to your bad habits even if you are not engaging in them for months or years. We are creatures of habit, and we may fall right back if we aren’t cautious. The important thing is to know how to control our sails again when the wind blows it in the wrong path. This way, you can ensure that these habits won’t harm you in the long run.