A habit is something that is repeated regularly and is hard to give up.
The kicker is the last part of the definition because bad habits can be hard to let go of.
Some bad habits include smoking, fast food, drinking too much alcohol, too much caffeine, working all the time, drinking soda and the list can go on.
Popular research says that it takes at least 21 days to develop a new habit but a recent study in the European Journal of Social Psychology says that it takes on average 66 days to form a new habit.
How about getting rid of the bad habits though? For someone that has smoked for 30 years or has lived on fast food for most of their life, kicking that is going to probably take much more than the allotted time.
When you set out on a journey to transform your life, there is a big spike at the beginning where you are fully motivated. After a while though, that wears off and motivation isn’t going to be enough. Here are six ways to help kick a bad habit and ensure you don’t go back to your old ways:
WHY? - It all comes down to why? Why do you want to kick this habit? There has to be meaning behind it. When the motivation wears off a bit from the beginning and the going gets tough, you need your “Why” to fall back on. This will help keep you on track. Have a reason for doing what you’re doing.
Good for Bad - Simply just looking at the bad and focusing on that can be a bit overwhelming. Instead, focus on a good for a bad exchange. If your goal is to stop drinking soda, not only do you have to ease in but you most likely need something good to take its place. Try carbonated water which will still give you the feeling of soda.
Strong Support System - The famous saying is “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is the case, make sure those five people are good people. Having a strong support system in place to lean on and keep you focused on your goals helps. At Adam Clark Fitness, we are here for you every step of the way. No one makes it alone so get some good people in your corner.
Don’t go Cold Turkey - While completely eliminating something from your life may work for some, that number is very few. And for some that try this, they eventually go back to their old ways. Give yourself time to complete the journey. Some of these habits have deep roots within us, so it’s going to take time to dig them out. Focus on small steps.
Have an Accountability Partner - Find someone else that is going through a similar journey. There are plenty of support groups out there for breaking certain habits so find one. Maybe a friend is trying to kick smoking and you are too. You both are going through similar journeys so help one another out and hold each other accountable. Daily message check-ins and weekly phone calls will go a long way. One of Adam Clark Fitness’ core beliefs is accountability, and we will do our best to help you during those other 165 hours during the week.
Celebrate Victories - No matter how big the victory, celebrate it. Celebrations bring about happiness. It also makes us want more. Post your victories on social media. We all love getting likes on our post and congratulations because it makes us feel good. Sharing your victories can also be an inspiration for someone else too. If you’ve had a victory at Adam Clark Fitness, be sure to tag us on social media so we can celebrate with our community.
Certain habits can be hard to kick, but nothing is impossible. The most successful people in the world have elite habits and that is why they have success.
At Adam Clark Fitness, we believe in the long-term approach. While 21 days doesn’t completely transform your life, it can certainly make a difference and that’s why we are launching the 21-Day Habit Challenge. The challenge focuses on three areas: Movement, Eating, and Growth. Check it out and you can download the PDF here.