Having dabbled a bit with the concept of changing a habit (it's much more difficult to simply drop a habit; you must change it instead), I've found that it indeed works. You just have to stay focused on it long enough. It's worked for me before, but then I slipped back into 'bad' habits. However, a few good habits have stuck.
Anyway - I was preparing a "productivity" minute for my job and I decided to discuss this simple formula for changing a habit. Here it is below:
1. Identify your habit's routine
- every habit has a basic pattern
- routine, reward, cue
- identify the components of your loop
2. Experiment with different rewards
- rewards satisfy cravings
- to figure out which cravings are driving a habit, change the reward and keep experimenting until you figure it out.
- isolating the cue is vital
- take note of 5 things when you 'crave' the bad routine/reward
- emotional state
- other people you're with
- the immediately preceding action
- now that you've figured out the loop (routine, reward, cue), you can shift the behavior with your plan (new habit)
- when I see a CUE, I will do ROUTINE, in order to get a REWARD
- where do you begin to change your habits?
- focus on keystone habits - those habits that have the power to start a chain reaction which shift other patterns in your life
- ask yourself: which habits are most core to my self image?