How to Break Bad Habits and Build Good Habits, Part I

Written by on January 14, 2022

Building Habits

Building good habits and breaking bad habits

Habits are part of our everyday life. They help us to deal faster with regular things in order to save our energy for the important ones. They are our automated responses for certain situations. We can separate the habits to good habits and bad habits. We usually try to break bad habits and build good habits.

Here are some tips on how to form good habits and leave the bad habits behind:

  1. We need 21 days to form a habit. Once we form it, we need to strengthen it and to become automated. It is scientifically proven that this takes from 18 to 254 days depending on the individual. The average time is 90 days.
  2. Big habits behavior change requires a high level of motivation and this causes difficulties in forming and strengthening new habits. The best approach is to start with small steps creating tiny habits which will help us to build the desired big habit behavior change.
  3. The best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an already existing habit or routine.
  4. Goal activation is an important element of new habits formation. Once the habit is formed the goal is not needed for strengthening it.
  5. When we change our environment we are more willing to change some of our habits, because some of the cues that trigger them are missing. That is why this is a good time to start working on new habits. For example, such a situation is when we are on vacation.
  6. “Dopamine plays a role in motivation and it is very important in the first phase of building a new habit. We can increase dopamine levels in some of the ways below:
    • the right nutritioning – to eat more protein foods and less saturated fats
    • exercise more often or simply take a walk outside
    • to sleep enough
    • to listen to music
    • to meditate.
  7. Habits formation depends upon the encouraging atmosphere. Surround yourself with the right people who will support you during the process.