We all have bad habits, which may be destroying our health. Some of these (read: smoking) can destroy your lungs, while some of these (read: overeating) can lead to obesity. However, there is a code and rather an easier one that can be used to break all your bad habits at once.
According to experts, the easiest and the most effective way to break all your bad habits that could be a peril for your health and fitness is the “if-then” format. So what this format actually do? The “if” part of the plan involves you figuring out what actually triggers that particular habit and the “then” part of that habit includes finding out what action to take in order to curb this.
A psychology professor at New York University, Peter Gollwitzer, explains this research as:
“In laboratory experiments, we discovered that these plans make performing the behaviour specified in the “then” part much easier when the critical situation is encountered. The person no longer has to tell herself that she wants to break a bad habit and then try hard to do so.
“Rather, encountering the critical situation specified in the “if” part triggers the pre-planned response in a fast, effortless, and incidental manner.
“Since the “if-then” plan delegates the initiation of the planned response to the specified critical situation, it is taken out of the hands of the person who – as a consequence – no longer has to play the role of the willful “controller” of her actions. Instead, she now makes a pre-programmed, almost automatic response.”
So how should you get rid of the habits? All you need to do is to detect those particular situations that trigger the bad habits; like you smoke a lot when you are tensed, you eat when you are stressed or you sleep too much when you have nothing to do. When you are done identifying the root cause, work on how you can get rid of it and remove the factors that instigate it.
Moreover, the researches were most conducted on the chain smokers and the application of this format helped them in overcoming their excessive smoking habit.