Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library


How to Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones: The Science of 'Habit Management -

Few things are more difficult than kicking bad habits or developing more positive ones. But it is definitely worth the effort. Bad habits like smoking, overeating or self-criticism shorten lives and lead to underachievement, and unsuccessful attempts to change them lower self- esteem.

In contrast, good habits create a kind of 'success auto-pilot,' leading to greater accomplishment with less thought and less effort.

So how do you best eliminate bad habits and create good ones? Research from the new field of 'positive psychology' 'the scientific study of happy, successful people 'points to at least four proven techniques for successful habit management.

1. Replace a bad habit with a good one. Completely eliminating a habit is much harder than replacing it with a more productive habit. Studies of people who compulsively bite their fingernails have shown that it is very difficult for them to completely give up their habit, and much easier for them to substitute biting with the more productive habit of grooming their nails.

Similarly, people who talk too much during meetings struggle to become silent, but find it much easier to replace their compulsive talking with highly attentive listening.

2. Exercise. A habit of regular exercise is obviously important for lasting weight loss. But you may not realize that exercise helps in accomplishing a variety of goals, and in eliminating a number of bad habits.

Frequent exercise helps break habits of overeating, and in kicking all kinds of addictions, particularly if exercise is substituted for an end-of-the-day cocktail or cigarette. Among smokers who become competitive runners, for example, over 80% give up smoking.

3. Reward success. The most fundamental law in all of psychology is the 'law of effect.' It simply states that actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur. Unfortunately, studies show that people rarely use this technique when trying to change personal habits. Dieters, for example, routinely overlook weeks of exercise and restrained eating, only to let a single lapse 'snowball' into a total relapse and complete collapse.

Setting up formal or informal rewards for success greatly increases your chances of transforming bad habits into good ones, and is far more effective than punishing yourself for bad habits or setbacks.

4. Schedule your bad habits. If you are really struggling to kick a bad habit, try limiting the habit to a specific time and place. If you are struggling to quit cigarettes, allow yourself to smoke from 9-9:30pm, and only in an uncomfortable 'smoking stool.' When the urge to smoke strikes, tell yourself that you'll have plenty of time to smoke during your pre-scheduled smoking period. Research and case studies confirm that this rather unconventional approach can be a useful first step in changing bad habits.

Copyright © 2004 Stephen Kraus, Ph.D.

REFERENCES

The findings and recommendations in this article are based on scientific research published in peer-reviewed journals. For complete references, see Psychological Foundations of Success: A Harvard-Trained Scientist Separates the Science of Success from Self-Help Snake Oil by Stephen Kraus, Ph.D.

Success Scientist Dr. Stephen Kraus is author of Psychological Foundations of Success: A Harvard-Trained Scientist Separates the Science of Success from Self-Help Snake Oil. He was recently featured in Conversations on Success, along with Brian Tracy and Wally 'Famous' Amos. Steve has a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University.


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd