66-Day Scientific Methods with 4 Steps to Get Rid of a Bad Habit

Elif Özçakmak

Elif Özçakmak

İTÜ - İşletme Mühendisliği | Editör @ceotudent

We all have certain habits that we repeat every day, consciously or unconsciously. In addition to routines such as brushing teeth, eating and sleeping that we need in our daily lives, there are also habits that harm us, that we do not really like to do, but that we cannot give up.
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, says habits are not innate, we create them. According to Duhigg, our habits, which we describe as good, bad, or unimportant, begin with a psychological structure called the “habit loop”.
This cycle, which devours us from the inside, consists of three parts. First, the triggering process takes place where the behavior is transmitted to our brain. Then we perform the behavior, and in the next stage, the “reward” process takes place when the brain does not encounter an adverse situation when we perform the behavior.
Smoking, nail biting, sleeping late, excessive consumption of junk food, lying… Although it is a difficult process to get rid of such habits that we repeat without realizing it, if you have a little patience, you will have taken a small step for humanity and a big step for yourself.
In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team observed 96 people over 12 weeks to find out how long it took them to start a new habit.
Participants chose a new habit and reported how automatic the behavior became each day for 12 weeks. At the end of the process, Lally analyzed the results and discovered that it took participants 66 days for a new behavior to become a habit. This means that it will take 66 days before we can replace our bad habits with good ones. For example, instead of watching TV series before going to bed, he can read a book; If you are consuming cola with your meal, you can choose water instead.
Here are the 4 steps you need to go through in order to get through these 66 days with a successful result:




1) Face your bad habit. (1-22 Days)

Acknowledge that “that” behavior you repeat over and over has become a bad habit. Say this to yourself. Tell your family and co-workers you have a duty. If you go back to your old habits and find that you can’t adapt to the new one, consider them as a watchdog to watch over you. Ask them to remind you of your decision, yelling at you if necessary.



You feel the pressure on you. The pressure of disappointing other people and not keeping your promises to yourself will keep you from getting back into the habit because sometimes it’s easier to disappoint yourself than it is to disappoint others.


2) Question yourself. (22-44 Days)

Take a good look at your life. Go a little deeper and listen to yourself. What do you want from life? Why are you acting like this? How do you want to show yourself?
As you quit a bad habit or replace it with a healthy one, ask yourself why you are doing it and how it will affect your life.
If you can find a reason for these questions in your subconscious, you can complete this 66-day process more easily because you will have an inner strength that supports you.


3) See the light. (44-66 Days)

The third stage is where you will make your final move. But you still have 22 more days to grit your teeth. At this stage, you should find something to push you to keep going. You only have 22 days left to be strong and willful.
You are very close to reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.




4) Reward yourself. (66+)

Celebrating is the only way to reinforce the end of an old habit or the birth of a new habit. Throw a party, have a good time with your friends or family.



If you’ve broken a habit that people hope you break, they’ll be more than willing to celebrate it with you. Who knows, maybe you can make it an annual tradition.

Now, are you ready to get rid of your bad habits?

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