You can’t break a habit.
It’s hard wired in your brain, reinforced by the billions of times you’ve performed it.
So yeah, I lied in the subject heading.
BUT the good news is that you can replace a habit and here are 4 tips that will help:
We all follow the path of least resistance so make doing the new habit as easy as possible.
I’m trying to develop an exercise habit where I exercise at least 30 minutes a day Monday to Friday – I wear yoga pants every day so that all I have to do is change my top. Easy.
Make the old habit as hard as possible to do
How do you make it hard to be inactive? You put reminders all around you that are hard to ignore. Exercise equipment in my office, an exercise wall chart (we all love a winning streak), goals on the apple watch and then the biggie, I can only listen to my favourite podcast if I’m out walking.
I have James Clear to thank for this great tip. You know that phrase “I’m the kind of person who….” Well what we put at the end of that sentence tells us who we are and we like to act in accordance with who we think we are. So I’m the kind of person who exercises every weekday. And when I decide that I can’t be bothered that little voice pipes up. “But Jude, you’re the kind of person that exercises every weekday.” It’s only one click, and two keystrokes before I’m on the Les Mills On Demand website and from there it’s quick to find a workout – least resistance.
Be kind to yourself
Of course you’re going to slip up, your old habit is hard wired into your brain and it was once a positive habit it just doesn’t serve you anymore. When you slip up forgive yourself and try again.
And remember, even though you can’t break a habit you can replace it with something else.