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What are Habits? Break Bad Habits - Add Healthy Habits

What are Habits? Break Bad Habits - Add Healthy Habits

The Good Habits Club is here to incorporate healthy habits into our everyday lives. But what is a habit? Why is it so tough for some people to let go?

In order for you to understand how to break your bad habits, it is essential that you first understand precisely what habits are. According Webster's Dictionary, a habit is a recurrent and often unconscious pattern of behavior, which is usually acquired through regular repetition.

To understand this concept, you need to know how your brain works. Your mind is created by and connected with a complex array of neurons. These neurons are fed with input from our sensory nerves and organs, which are then delivered to the brain


These neurons are interconnected with others throughout the body and form one of the most significant frameworks of interconnected elements of the body. The brain registers, as well as maintains pathways of various neurons through the chemical impulses that it receives from the neurons. To increase cognitive ability, the brain has to keep a simple, streamlined process. This process includes setting the most used pathways as connections, which allows them to run automatically.

For example, you might find yourself in a room and can't remember what brought you there. 

The same applies to driving and walking.

But what about bad habits?

There isn't a specific definition of bad habits. This is because a habit isn't bad or good on its own. What matters is what you do with the habit. Consider whether your habit has a positive or negative impact on your life and the life of those around you. Asking yourself this question can help guide you in defining your habits.

A positive habit will bring you success in all areas in your life, while a bad habit is one that can ruin the success you experience in life.

A bad habit can be considered as anything that takes up your time and prevents you from achieving your immediate or long- term goals, without providing you anything in return. For example, you might have the habit of playing video games during your free time.

This could be a good or bad habit, depending on how you do it. If you usually play video games with your family, it could mean achieving your goal of spending more time with your family, making it a positive habit. However, continually playing video games by yourself every day contributes to nothing, making it a bad habit. When determining whether your habits are good or bad, you have to be honest with yourself.

Take the time to weight your habits and see if they are beneficial to you. If something hinders you from achieving your goals, define it as a bad habit, and start devising a plan to break the habit.

While you can pinpoint specific bad habits, something's you are so used to the habit that you actually don't recognize how it is affecting you. Therefore, you need to understand how you can realize your habits so that you can do something about them.

How to Recognize Your Habits

Most of us are so used to our habits that we don't actually realize that you have those habits. The first step that you need to take if you want to change your habits is being aware of which ones you have. You can't change what you don't know.

You can become aware of both your positive and negative habits by doing a self-assessment. Here are two methods that you can use to help you identify both your good and your bad habits.


1. Internal Review

Doing an internal review of your habits requires self-reflection. Self-reflection is nothing more than analyzing your daily behaviors and taking note of how they make you feel. If you always find yourself snacking on sugary foods, and feeling guilty about it each time it happens, then you've just narrowed down one of your bad behaviors.

You can also use measurement as a way to recognize your bad habits. Most of the time, we tend to lie to ourselves about our bad habits or ignore them completely. With measurement, you can quickly note your bad habits.

To do this, take a notebook and pen, or use your phone to record down everything that you do daily. If you want to find out if you have any bad eating habits, write down everything that you eat in a day, how it makes you feel, and what you think you could do about it. When you take the time to write down what you do every day, you can uncover and reveal habits that you didn’t even know existed.

2. External Review

When you do an external review, you use information outside yourself as a way to understand your habits. You take the time to observe and study the people around you and your environment so that you might gain a bit of insight into your own habits.

For example, reading books will enlighten you on different behaviors and their repercussions. You will be able to determine which habits are good for you and which ones are bad.

Another example of using the external review process to discover your habits is observing the lives of successful people around the world. Look for people who accomplished remarkable things in their lives and note what habits helped them to achieve their goals and determine if there were any habits; they possessed that kept them from reaching their goals. Observing successful people will help you note some bad habits that you might not have considered harmful before.

Types of Habits

Habits are a crucial part of our daily lives. Some of these habits started when we were young, like sucking your finger. Habits are a part of us, and we are a part of our habits. Most people categorize habits into two areas, bad and good.

The bad habits tend to be more popular than the good ones and can include procrastination, telling lies, stealing, and laziness, among others. Different schools of thoughts have their own notion of different kinds of habits. Here are two different schools of thought on the different types of habits.

First School of Thought

According to the first school of thought on habits, they can be divided into four different kinds as follows:

Regimental Unconscious

Everyone falls into one of these four types. Let’s explore each category a little further so you can determine which one you fall into regarding your habits.

Instigating Habits

These kinds of habits are those that are established throughout the course of our lives to help guide us through our life projects. These habits are responsible for moving us forward toward a preferred idea. They are the habits that tend to lead to serendipity. You can enjoy these habits without actualizing any goal.

They tend to take us on a path that is rewarding on its own. At times, these habits might have goals attached to them, but achieving these goals isn’t necessarily as important as the process. You can refer to these kinds of habits as open-ended habits. Since you aren't focused on the result or outcome, what happens during the process can be framed to be a success.

Examples of instigating habits include:

  • Reading

  • Working out

  • Spending time with friends

  • Eating healthy

  • Building a home

    Avoiding Habits

    These kinds of habits are widely known by everyone because we see these habits everywhere. They are the habits we are trying to break off. Avoiding habits include media addiction, slothfulness, gambling, gossiping, drinking, smoking, and every kind of addiction that you can think of. In this stage, the focus is on changing from one thing to something else.

    These are the habits that we try hard to push away. You are either complying with them or not by moving them toward the instigating habits, which is by mentally reframing them. For example, if you are in the habit of gossiping, rather than trying to stop the habit, you can look for ways to compliment others instead.



If this is done over and over again, it will eventually override the habit of gossiping.

Regimental Habits

These kinds of habits involve doing an activity each time the same way without leaving any room for change. It is an automatic response. You can call it the devilish cycle, which robs you of the current moment. People who tend to rile against habit formation only consider this type of habit. Once you form a regimental habit, you lose control of the present.

These habits usually become unconscious if you aren’t careful and on the watch. For example, parking in the same spot every day, showering, drinking a cup of coffee every morning, and more.

Unconscious Habits

These habits operate through us, and undeniably, we have them all. We don't see them, but we rely on our friends and family to help us expose them. These are habits that we repeat over time and that have become embedded in our character and lifestyle. We don't have conscious control over these habits. They include pessimism, negativity, overspending, frowning, picking your nose, etc.


Second School of Thought

Besides the habits mentioned above, they can also be categorized into three distinct groups based on the nature of the activities according to this second school of thought on habits.

Motor Habits

These are referred to as muscular activities. They are the habits that directly relate to our physical actions. Motor habits include walking, talking, sitting, standing, exercising, and maintaining a particular body posture, among others.

Intellectual Habits

These kinds of habits relate to the psychological process that is needed for our mental abilities. Intellectual habits include logical thinking, accurate perception, use of reasoning before making a decision, and good observation, among others.

Habits of Character

These are the habits that are expressed through our character. For example, helping those in need, trusting people, being honest, time management, being clean and tidy, etc. These, at times, are called emotional habits because they have the essence of feelings and emotions.



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