I am telling you today how you will be able to make starting new habit possible and quitting bad habit you know that you need to quit. I give you exact steps you need to make to be successful.
First you need to understand how your brain is working. Brain is searching immediate rewards, to feel satisfied and to feel better.
Our ancestors were going to hunt and when their goal was to get food to survive. That was their immediate reward. They didn´t think what to eat next week or how they will feel next year. Only goal was to get food for that day and look where to sleep safe and survive for next day. Surviving that day was their immediate reward.
You have also future goals like to be healthier or to lose weight.
You are facing different problems than our ancestors. You don´t need to worry where to find food. Problem is that your brain haven´t changed that fast as environment have developed. Your brain needs still immediate reward.
You know that smoking can kill you in future, but you are still smoking. Why you are then doing it even you are aware of risk of lung cancer? Because you get immediate reward of doing it. It releases your stress and eases your nicotine cravings NOW. Consequences of bad habit is delayed but reward is immediate.
If you think your habits, immediate outcome of bad habits usually feel good, but ultimate outcome feels bad. Like eating lot of chocolate feels good at that moment but you know ultimate outcome of eating too much chocolate. With good habits it is vice versa, immediate outcome is usually not pleasant but later outcome is enjoyable. Like eating more vegetables.
Your brain prioritize the present moment over future. That makes is hard when you make a plan for future – like losing weight or saving for your retirement. You need to sacrifice current rewards to get reward in future.
That is key to success and reason why only smartest people are able to do it. They are willing to do the work and wait for the rewards. Most of the people are looking immediate rewards, quick fixes for problems and to get immediate satisfaction. Success in future requires almost always to ignore immediate reward.
HOW TO TURN THINGS AROUND
It is hard to quit bad habit what is rewarding you at the moment and start better habit what will benefit you in the future. Doing few workouts doesn´t make you fitter, at least, that you would feel noticeable difference. But months later you will see that you lost some weight and your muscles are toned than before. Only then it becomes easier to keep doing your workouts. In the beginning, you need a reason to stay on track. You need immediate reward. Those keep you excited while you still need to wait for final outcome. You can reward yourself doing workout with massage or some other thing what will support your final outcome but makes you feel good at the moment.
It can be something really small and working really well if you want to quit some bad habit you currently have. Like if you try to avoid drinking alcohol. Every time you face situation that you would drink alcohol but now you are not doing it. Put money you would spent to drinks to some account or box and you can call that to “holiday savings” or “new shoes” funds. You have created essential small satisfaction immediately for your brain.
Those are just small wins but you need to give immediate reward to your brain for small victories. To make habit last for longer time, you need to make it enjoyable, like feeling of massage or seeing 50€ to hit your holiday savings.
Doing these steps, it makes starting new habit more enjoyable or by quitting bad habit you will have feeling of satisfaction by not doing it anymore.