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5 tips on how to break old habits.

Habits are formed by behaviors we’ve repeated over and over, and some are deeply formed in our early years from our experiences and environments. It’s helpful to become aware of each habit and understand why you want to break the habit.  Breaking old habits occurs through repetition, practice, and focus.

Habits in a relationship can be particularly frustrating.  Look at your partner with fresh eyes - see them as they are today, not last month, last year, or 15 years ago.  Who are they right now? Coming with a fresh perspective can often break our habits in a relationship.

Asking your partner the same question every day “How was your day?” can elicit the same response, sometimes not even words but a grunt “Hmph.”  Ask “What made you smile today?” “Who had the funniest joke at work today?” “What was particularly hard about your day?

  1. Start small - change doesn’t often occur overnight, so be patient with yourself as you go through the process of breaking old habits.  Set small goals each day and build on those.
  2. Understanding -  why you have the habit and what purpose has served and does it serve for you today.  
  3. Context - Is there an area in your life where the habit shows up the most? Do you find yourself self-soothing with this habit in emotional triggers around anxiety, fear, anger or more?
  4. Rubberband effect - accept that you might regress and then reboot and begin on your path again, much like you reboot a computer and begin the repetition, practice, and focus again till it feels more natural.
  5. Seek help when needed- don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling.

Imago Relationship professionals help people break free from a variety of habits, especially habits formed in our relationships.  We’re here to help.

5 Tips on how to break old habits
Imago Relationships North America
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