Habits

What’s easier: Creating a new habit or getting rid of an old habit?

I saw this question the other day and thought it was really thought provoking. 

My automatic reaction was creating a new one is harder but when I thought about it, I changed my mind.  Stopping old habits is actually pretty tough, if you’re used to always having a cigarette when you have a drink or having a coke and chocolate break at 3pm every day for example, it’s hard to break the link in your brain between the two.

What makes it easier to break an old habit is replacing it with a new habit.  So replacing the coke and chocolate with water and fruit would be easier than just stopping having a snack at 3pm, because that way you’re still doing something at 3 pm just making it something different.

The other reason I think creating new habits can seem a bit daunting is that we tend to think too big.  Wanting to lose weight so we say I need to create the habit of training 5 times a week- that’s a big habit to create.  But really to make enough of a change to see results we only need to make a few small changes at a time.  Therefore if we break creating habits up into smaller more easily achievable thinks, like drinking 2 litres of water a day, getting more sleep, hitting a step count each day; creating new habits is far easier than you’d think.

Reaching a goal is largely about being successful at creating habits that are aligned with that goal, but often we can overthink how big those changes need to be.  A few small changes and new habits every few weeks can all add up to big changes.  Then as we create new habits it might well become easier to get rid of our old habits as we gradually change the way we do things day to day.

Which do you think is easier? 

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