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Everybody has bad behaviors they’d like to break, and we give ourselves the very same pep talk every night. We feel dejected and guilty because, despite knowing better, we can’t stop ourselves. Since the brain is resistant to change, the cycle is logical. It takes determination, some white-knuckling, and proven habit change strategies.

Some habits can feel rewarding

Bad and good habits are routines and such routines as driving to work automatically make life easier. According to Dr. Stephanie Collier, a psychiatry instructor at Harvard medical school, the brain shouldn’t think so much. On the other hand, bad habits are different. Dr. Luana Marques, who is an associate psychology professor at Harvard Medical School, states that when trying to do away with bad habits, the brain will not like it since we are creating dissonance. The brain’s limbic system causes activate a fight-flight response, and the normal reaction is to avoid the threat and go back to past behavior. If you want to change, here is how to do it.

Find the motivation for wanting to change

Before trying to change, first, establish the reason why you want to change. If the reason is personal, the stronger your motivation will be to change. Next, you may want to identify the internal and external triggers, which may take some time.

Next is to modify behavior. When changing your behavior, you don’t have to be perfect but put the initiative to try. Avoid an all-or-nothing mindset that is likely to lead to burnout. It is vital to follow a cycle, and it is recommended to have a schedule and focus on getting through.

Be ready for setbacks

You will face setbacks and challenges in your journey that will be part of the lasting change. Humans are their worst critics, and we are always looking to succeed and not fail. When faced with a setback, try to take a third-person angle, and it is something that takes time. Whenever thoughts of failure come to your mind, you should acknowledge them and let them roll through.