Quitting a bad habit is considered an impossible task. No matter how much you curse yourself for it, you still remain stuck with it unless you find a way out. A psychology professor at New York University, Peter Gollwitzer has found a way for everyone who wants to quit their bad habits for a better life ahead.
Peter is an expert in creating relationships between goals and behaviors for more constructive outcomes related to your habits.
People develop habits for a reason. Some prefer to eat a lot to overcome stress while others drink every night to accompany their friends. You will also find one of your friends frustrated about the little things like procrastinating too much or wasting their time on social media because a bad habit stays dangerous at every level.
Therapists and family members will always tell you that it’s all in the head and you can get rid of such habits by just trying hard enough, but in reality that still remains a pep talk.
So, Peter has that secret which you all would love to know for your bad habits. It is based on his own extensive research while living in the U.S and Germany. You can apply it to all the habits that you want to change for better health, work, or social life etc.
He discovered that instead of focusing too much on your goals and stressing over it, one should actually plan well on how to implement the goal. If you want to see more effective progress, then it’s time to adopt his ‘if-then’ format.
To begin with, all you have to do is specify when, where and how you want to act on your goals. He took the example of drinking too much with friends to elaborate on the process. In the ‘if’ part, you will have to figure the exact moment that makes you compromise. In most cases, it turns out to be an offer by your friend. Now once you get the option, that is where you need a pre-planned answer with ‘then’ part of the format. You will have to think of an action that should seem more polite and logical to decline the offer e.g you can respond with ‘No, thanks! I’ll have a glass of water today please’. Linking ‘if’ and ‘then’ in the following way can assist you in putting the right step forward towards your goal.
“If on Friday evening my friends offer me a drink, then I will answer: I prefer to have a glass of water today!”
This sounds so simple, right? And how can such a small trick of ‘if-then’ work very well for children, adults, and old to very old people at the same time?
The results hold the fact that this format actually brings a massive change in your behavior, with which you can break any bad habit. As soon as you identify the critical position with ‘if’ where an action is required, you tend to now focus more on its response through ‘then’, which also comes in the way as a confidence booster. So now, instead of constantly reminding yourself about the bad habit, you just have to focus on putting a pre-planned response. With this format, you will continue to plan ahead and escape yourself from the critical situation till the time your bad habit loses its control over you.
It is not difficult to figure out ‘if-then’ plans if you thoroughly notice your routine and habits. It will always be about detecting the situations around you and going with an attitude taught in the format.