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I don't know what I need to write here, but I am explaining everywhere what I feel and think.

Everyone has some habits that may be good or bad. But firstly I want to control or change some of my habits but I can't do that. Sometimes I'll decide that I will not do this again but it happens again and again and I can't control that.

I know this all is a bit strange but I need to solve it. If anyone has some tips for me please share.

Thanks a lot everybody,

UPDATE

One of the habits that I can share with everyone is that I can't handle anybody more than a limited time. I have lots of friends but don't like fast friend at all. I don't know this will be good or bad for me, but I want to gossip with friend but I don't like and same as with my relatives. I feel good only when working as I am an iOS developer and only like to do programming alone.

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A related question about how to handle stress when changing habits can be found here –  THelper Dec 4 '13 at 9:04
    
+1 I too have this same issue. I asked GOOGLE he took me here. –  Ashes Nov 15 at 18:38

7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I just recently started using what is called Seinfeld's productivity secret. Basically, you print a calendar for the whole year on a sheet of paper that you see every day (staple it to the wall over your desk) and set yourself a realistic daily target - for me, that is 15 minutes studying a foreign language every day.

On every day you follow through on your target, you get to cross off that day with a big red marker. After two weeks, just seeing that chain of red crosses makes you want to "not break the chain", so you are motivated to achieve your target for that day... and then the next... and then the next...

It is really a primitive way to fool oneself, but it works wonders for me.

This should also work wonderfully with habits you want to get rid of. Change the daily target to "five hours without a cigarette" or "go the whole day without picking my nose" or whatever.

EDIT: chains.cc is a wonderful website and iPhone app to help you in this (link again via Lifehacker). I simply added the site to my homepages, so I see it every day. So far, I have gone 8 days without potato chips ;-)

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as going good with the productivity secret. thanks for sharing this... –  whack Feb 1 '13 at 8:40

Better is to change one habit per time. When you are more familiar with the change, you can try to change another habit. Don't give yourself many target, you would be more prone to fail. In other hand, the small success will motivate you so you will be able to change another, more significant habit then.

Write them down, choose most important and start with it. Then you can continue with next one.

When it is daily habit, there is a rule, which says, that you should repeat doing of something new for about 21 days and it becomes a habit. So concentrate only on one change, repeat it every day and it should be easy after 21 days.

Say about this change to your family or friends. It will motivate you too, since you don't want to fail when there are people awaiting the changing of your habit. You can even bet with somebody, that you will achieve it. Or when you fail in one day, you pay penalty, and in the other hand, if you succeed for a week you can bounty yourself.

It depends on what for habit it is, but sometime it is possible to do it with somebody else: go to gym with friend 3 times per week, get up earlier and call your friend, who is trying to change his habit too (or he already has this habit)

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There are three factors that create a habit. Cue, routine, and reward.

Theory

A simple example is a rat put inside a maze, with a hidden piece of chocolate. On a clicking sound, the door to the maze opens. The rat smells the chocolate, wanders around the maze, takes a lot of wrong turns, but eventually finds the chocolate.

The experiment is repeated several times, with the chocolate placed in the same location. The rat learns where the chocolate is and finds a faster and more direct way to the chocolate. Eventually, it becomes automatic - when the rat hears a click, its brain follows the path to chocolate. Even when the chocolate (and the smell of it) is removed, the rat always follows the same path out of habit.

Cue: The clicking sound when the maze is opened.

Routine: Following a path through the maze.

Reward: Chocolate.

Source: Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Random House, 2012.

Example bad habit

A common example is the Facebook habit. Students will often get tired/bored of reading and enter Facebook for some relaxation. Before he realizes it, he's failing class yet constantly logged into multiple Facebook games.

Cue: This can be anything. Being bored at lunch. Arriving home from work. Finishing a difficult task, like studying a chapter or emptying the office tray. More often, the cue failing to finish a difficult task and looking for some relaxation.

Routine: The person logs into Facebook, and stays there until he gets the reward he wants.

Reward: He gets in touch with someone he likes. He collects some strawberries on Farmville. He sees a pretty girl's new picture. He wins an argument with a friend. He chats with enough friends to have an empty inbox.

For some, the reward is brief - click notifications, find nothing, then log off.

For others, they may be looking for a post from someone they are in love with, so they'll constantly refresh until that person posts. This is what causes the more dangerous forms of Facebook addiction.

Example good habit

I assume most people are familiar with the Pomodoro technique. I'll take the classical physical Pomodoro as an example.

Cue: Physically winding the Pomodoro and getting a ticking sound.

Routine: Full focus on a particular task.

Reward: The ring at the end of the Pomodoro, and being able to add one point to the number of Pomodoros accomplished. No longer hearing a ticking sound.

As long as the cue and reward remain the same, people will do same routine, which is doing a task with full focus. That's why the Pomodoro technique has proven to be so effective - it's fully ingrained into the habit system.

How to modify habits

The routine does not switch off until the person has reached the reward. The cue will often launch the habit, no matter how much willpower you put into avoiding the habit. You'll experience cravings if you don't get your reward. In fact, you may even get angry if you don't get your reward and not understand why.

What most people hate about habits is the routine involved. If it's a time-wasting routine, like Facebook, accelerate yourself towards the reward.

Sometimes the reward is difficult to reach for a bad habit. So learn to replace it with an easier to obtain reward. Play a less addictive game. Train yourself to be excited just to read all your notifications. Instead of stalking someone who rarely posts, stalk someone else who posts more often.

Sometimes the reward itself is bad, so change the reward. Instead of eating bacon for breakfast, form a habit of eating toast or low fat beef jerkies.

Actually changing your routine and rewards will require some willpower. But using willpower to simply suppress your routine doesn't cure the cravings. The Seinfeld Productivity method works, because it displaces the reward with something very simple.

Here's a flowchart that shows this better.

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Great Answer....! –  whack Feb 14 '13 at 7:20

A few ideas that may be useful:

  1. Why do you do this habit? Is it just routine and thus it is being done without your awareness that you are choosing to do it?

  2. How often are you doing this habit? Is it several times a day, once a month, once a year? The timing can be important here as something you do once a year may require very different techniques than something you do every 2 minutes.

  3. When you decide not to do this again, is it just a decision you are making without planning on how this is going to work? If there aren't strategies and tactics to support the decision then I could see where this goes poorly. Having a game plan of what will be done differently as well as who may be called to support the change is another idea here.

  4. Do you have any awareness of warning signs for when you are about to do the habit? For example, some people that want to stop craving tobacco or alcohol may get cravings that can be used an indicator that it is time to use some kind of distraction rather than go back to doing the habit.

  5. When you do repeat the habit you said you wouldn't do, do you feel like this lets you off the hook permanently? I could wonder if this could trigger self-esteem issues here as if you can't do what you say you'll do, that isn't a good sign usually.

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You may want to read Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.

It helps me understand how my mind work. When would I give up. How to encourage myself to stick to the habits that I want to. Strongly recommended.

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It is usually the initial inertia of not starting that's the most difficult to overcome. With training yourself to think about your goal, you can overcome this challenge.

You control or change existing habits by re-programming your brain to first start thinking about the positive effects of developing the new habit. The constant firing of your thoughts will create a momentum and desire for you to start acting on the development of the new habit.

Then, when you get started, repeat the activity for at least 21 - 30 days. That is how long it takes for a new neural pathway to be established in your brain. After you have done it for 30 days, it will become a psychological barrier/challenge for you to not do the new habit or to discontinue it.

Listen to this audio: http://sathyaish.net/podcast/RepetitionIsTheKey.aspx

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If I want to change my habit, What I usually do is to just make it happen and watch it and be aware. I did that couple of times. Now I am going little easy with me. I see when I compulsively go about doing the same thing, I am relaxed and aware enough to not do it. But sometimes I dont do it and my compulsivness took over. But I just take it easy but committed to change it. You wont believe over time You will get rid of that habit without your knowing.

The other time when I want to completely avoid that habit, Only that thought occupies my mind. I finally end up doing that. If you say your mind " Dont think it". That is what It all thinks. So Go easy with your mind

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