I’m often asked by the people I coach, “how many days to change a habit?”.
Well, the first step in breaking an unwanted habit is to identify the trigger that causes you to act in a particular way.
Once you’ve identified this trigger, you need to figure out how to avoid it. For example, if you smoke because you enjoy the taste of cigarettes, then you should try to quit smoking by avoiding situations where you might encounter cigarette triggers.
Start to change a habit by breaking it down into smaller parts. For example, if you’re trying to stop smoking start by breaking down the habit into smaller parts.
Instead of thinking about quitting altogether, think about reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goal.
Identify the Trigger
Once you’ve identified the trigger, you’ll need to find ways to avoid it. For example, if you’re having trouble getting out of bed in the morning because you’re tired, try going to sleep earlier instead of later. Or, if you’re craving sweets, eat healthier snacks before you go to bed at night.
Create a Plan
It’s easy to fall into old patterns when you’re trying to make a big lifestyle change. So, start by creating a plan. Write down everything you’d like to do differently. Then, set goals for yourself. If you want to lose weight, write down what you would like to accomplish each week.
Once you’ve made a commitment to change a habit, reward yourself every time you meet one of your goals. This will help keep you motivated as you work toward your goal.
After all, you deserve some extra love from time to time. At those times you feel like giving up or falling back into old habits, treat yourself! That way even when things get rough or tough (and they will), there’ll still be something waiting for.
Don’t Give Up
If you find yourself giving up too easily, try breaking down your goal into smaller steps. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to lose 20 pounds,” say “I’m going to eat less sugar.” Or, instead of saying “My goal is to exercise three times per week,” say “Today I’ll walk for 30 minutes.”
Change a Habit You Don’t Want
By breaking down your goal into small steps, you’ll feel more successful when you reach your final goal. The more you can focus on only one part at a time, the better off you’ll be. But don’t worry about how long this process will take — just do your best!