Kick a Bad Habit By Replacing it With a Good One

Cigarettes Smoking Getty

I don't make New Year resolutions because I never stick with them.  I decided not to set myself up for failure anymore.  But what if I DO want to make a change? says to reward yourself with something in place of the bad habit rather than punishing yourself when you fail.

Behavior changes that are rooted in regret or fear don’t usually work.   So, for example, if you want to quit smoking, pay yourself a dollar every time you DON'T smoke.  At the end of the week, use the money to buy yourself something fun!  Set a goal of working out 3 times a week at the gym, and when you meet that goal, get a new work out outfit.  Really, it's anything that will act as a POSITIVE reinforcement for you!

Habit expert Wendy Wood from the University of Southern California told Business Insider that it can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to more than 250 days to form a new habit.  If you switch one habit like drinking with something else you enjoy then you won’t have to rely as much on self-control to reach your goal, instead just like that bad habit the new one will feel automatic.

Happy New Year! 



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