Building a good habit: 5 tips

20 January 2020 / Topical / Tips

Everyone has bad habits. Some are only annoying to yourself, others are also a burden to those around you. Now that you're in your break period, you may want to immediately kick another bad habit and get a good one in its place. You can read here how to do that.

Most IkPas participants put their alcohol consumption on pause because they want to break a pattern. Drinking alcohol to a greater or lesser extent can feel like a bad habit. Besides drinking (too much) alcohol from time to time, you can also suffer from other bad habits. For example: going to bed too late, checking your phone every five minutes, procrastinating, comparing yourself to others, not being grateful enough, not letting your environment know what you really think, losing things, being jealous. Bad habits come in all shapes and sizes. They sneak in and it's hard to get rid of them.

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A bad habit gets in the way of a good one. Roughly speaking, we would exercise more if we watched less television, feel fitter if we eat and drink less, and feel more peace of mind if we spent less time on social media. If you're reading this, then it seems like a foregone conclusion. You immediately stop what stands in your way to give space to other positive vibes. But it is not that simple in practice. Breaking a bad habit and building a good habit takes time, energy and practice. But it is possible. The advice below can help you with this.

Did you know…

- it takes an average of 66 days to learn a new good habit?

- falling back into an old bad habit doesn't affect the 'habit forming process'?

- a reward that can encourage you to keep up your good habit?

Tip 1: Create a positive mindset

Nobody gets motivated by 'I don't have to do so much anymore…' or 'I really can't anymore…'. Pour your New Year's resolution into a positive message. 'I would like to move more', sounds better. A positive mindset contributes to the successful acquisition of a new good habit.

Tip 2: Appointment with yourself

Make an appointment with yourself. Tell yourself why breaking a bad habit is important to you. Explain to yourself what it will bring you. Take it serious and don't take it lightly. When you're ready, tell the rest of the world. Show that you mean business and put your words into action.

Tip 3: Recognize triggers, break the routine

A bad habit arises when you are triggered in a certain way. The need for a cigarette or a drink, for example, is especially great at stressful times. Check for yourself what your triggers are to get into bad habits. When you know this, it's important to change your routine. Instead of a cigarette or a drink, a few breathing exercises can also relieve the stress.

Tip 4: One step at a time

Change takes time. Do not expect that you can suddenly run 15 km or that you are in bed every evening before 10 p.m. Start small and build up your change. This also applies to your alcohol break. Now you take a 30 day break. A nice (first) step. Maybe after this you will get the hang of it and also feel like the 40 day break period? In this way, a bad habit gives way to a good habit.

Tip 5: Making mistakes is allowed

It is not true in most cases that a bad habit is easy to break. It is therefore the rule rather than the exception that you make mistakes once in a while. Don't let this discourage you. Get yourself together and speak positively to yourself. Look how far you've come. Be aware of why you went wrong and put the good habit first.

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