In my last post I talked about cultivating and nurturing good habits. In that post you can read the secret to successful habit installation through a structured approach.
We’ll now turn to the other side of the equation – deleting habits that don’t serve us or are leading to unhelpful / unwanted behaviours and outcomes.
I’m sharing with you 3 steps to deleting a habit you no longer want below.
Tips for deleting habits:
TIP #1: IDENTIFY THE HABIT
You have to understand your motivation behind wishing to stop doing something, so really put some deep thought into this. Grab your journal and get those thoughts out on paper so it’s visual.
Here’s a few questions to help you identify your habit in more detail:
- Where does the habit generally take place?
- Is there a particular time of day it happens?
- What are you feel just before you do it?
- Who’s with you at this time?
- What do you do immediately afterwards?
- What prompts you to do this habit?
As BJ Fogg says in Tiny Habits “Prompts are the invisible drivers of our lives.“. So we need to work out the prompts that lead to the behaviour and remove those.
BJ Fogg also says “You can disrupt a behavior you don’t want by removing the prompt. This isn’t always easy, but removing the prompt is your best first move to stop a behavior from happening.“
TIP #2: MAKE IT HARD
Making a habit hard to initiate requires greater energy than if the habit is easy to do. This means you’re far more likely to lose interest in initiating the habit if the first part is difficult to achieve. The idea is to create friction.
A simple example is if you wish to stop drinking alcohol. Making this hard would start with removing all alcohol from the house. You now have to go out of your way to get the drink when you’d otherwise just pop the cork or open a bottle in your normal evening routine.
Here’s a few questions to get you thinking:
- What steps can you take to make your habit harder to start?
- How can you reduce the chance of exposure to the trigger?
- In what ways can you make the habit less desireable?
- Can you enlist the help of others to keep you on track? *see Tip #3 below
TIP #3: FIND SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Breaking a habit is often easier when you have the support of friends, family, or a support group. Share your goals with someone you trust, and ask them to hold you accountable. They can provide encouragement and help you stay on track. Additionally, consider seeking professional help if your habit is particularly challenging to overcome, such as addiction or compulsive behaviours. For other things working with a coach can provide faster breakthroughs and long term success.
Remember that breaking a habit takes time, and it’s normal to face setbacks along the way. Be kind to yourself and stay committed to your goals. Over time, with consistent effort and the right strategies, you can successfully delete an undesirable habit.
Also, do keep in mind that you might find it beneficial to replace the undesirable habit with a more desirable one.
Head over to read Installing & Cultivating Positive Habits to unlock the secrets to successful habit installation is a structured approach.
Other articles you may find of interest:
👉 2 Boundaries
I hope you’ve found this article useful. It would be amazing to hear about the habits you wish to delete, or indeed the positive ones you’re installing. You can comment below or send me an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] to share what you’re been putting in place to make your life a little easier.
If you’re looking for personalized support and guidance to help with deleting habits or any aspect of life that’s presenting you with challenge right now, I’m here to help! I offer 1-2-1 coaching sessions to empower you with tools and techniques tailored to your unique needs. Let’s work together to kick out those bad habits and replace them with positive ones. Reach out to me [email@example.com] to schedule your coaching session today!