5 Tips for Breaking Old Patterns of Behavior

Old Patterns man standing at the beach

Sharing is caring!

Our daily lives are made up of a series of habits that we have picked up over the years. These repeated habits that we engage in daily can eventually stop serving us. Yet we stick to them, often without giving them much thought.

What Are “Patterns of Behavior” and How Can We Identify Them?

The majority of our everyday activities are routine. Things like dressing, preparing meals, driving, brushing teeth, and so on are automated, and we do them on autopilot. Unfortunately, our unhealthy behaviors often become automated and stick around, either because they are associated with a reward or challenging to recognize.

However, these toxic behavior patterns can harm your life in many ways, including your mental and physical well-being, relationships, career, and more.

Some patterns of behavior that can cause problems in your life are:

  • Getting involved in toxic relationships
  • Failure to meet deadlines at school or work
  • Unhealthy sleep routine
  • Emotional eating
  • Excessive drinking or substance use
  • Inability to set boundaries
  • Getting burned out at work
  • An unhealthy relationship with money
  • Being late for work/school/appointments
  • Procrastinating on school assignments/work
  • Giving up easily when faced with obstacles
  • Neglecting self-care
  • Getting into conflicts

Where Do Our Behavior Patterns Come From?

Our behavior patterns come from the core beliefs and values we inherited growing up.

Self-limiting beliefs and negative thinking patterns can be significant sources of toxic behavior patterns that persist in our daily lives. They can make you feel down or anxious, harm your health, strain your relationships, and stop you from realizing your full potential.

To get rid of these patterns of behavior that are no longer serving you, you need to look inside and examine the roots of your unproductive routines.

The good news is that harmful behavior patterns can be relearned and replaced with healthier ones like any other habit can be.

Create a powerful life-changing mind shift! Enroll in my RiseUP online course to put a stop to your inner critic for good.

Why Is It So Hard to Break Old Patterns of Behavior?

Anyone who has attempted to make and keep New Year’s resolutions knows how challenging it can be to stick to them. Even those who feel most motivated can have difficulty sustaining positive change over the long term.

But why is it so hard to break old patterns of behavior that don’t serve us anymore? Successful behavior change is difficult because your brain gets stuck in old, unproductive habits.

Every new behavior you learn forms new neural connections in your brain. With repetition, these connections become stronger, turning a new behavior into a habit or routine. And both positive and harmful patterns of behavior are created this way.

Because breaking bad habits takes too much energy, your brain sees any attempt to change old habits as a threat. This makes you come up with reasons not to make the change.

So, to unlearn the patterns that no longer serve you and form new habits, you must build new neurological pathways and keep them alive. Here are 5 tips for breaking old patterns of behavior that are not useful anymore.

Start developing a relationship with yourself that truly matters. Discover the benefits of hiring a certified life coach and how it can enhance your life journey.

5 Tips for Breaking Old Patterns of Behavior That No Longer Serve You

1. Identify The Old Patterns that You Wish to Change

What old habits keep you from moving forward and getting out of a rut? Do you tend to hang out with the wrong people and stay in relationships that aren’t good for you? Or is it that you can’t keep up with your tasks and deadlines, get where you need to go on time or control your emotions?

The first step in breaking bad habits and making a change is to figure out what you are doing that is making your life hard. Start by making a list of behavioral patterns you want to break out of.

2. Learn to Identify Your Behavioral Triggers

Once you’ve made a list of patterns of behavior you want to break free from, write down the times when these habits appeared in the past. One unhealthy behavior may have several triggers. So, list down the factors that led to a specific behavior to better understand your triggers.

For example, if you have a pattern of being constantly broke, write down the possible reasons that led you to never have enough money. These can include things like:

  • You spend carelessly
  • You spend more than you are earning
  • You pass up sales and promotions
  • You build up credit card balances
  • You don’t make enough money
  • You are disorganized

3. Have an Alternative Plan of Action

Once you know what causes unhelpful patterns of behavior and how to change them, you can come up with a new plan to stop the pattern from happening again until a new behavior becomes a habit. For example:

  • Learn time management skills to increase productivity and meet deadlines.
  • Keep your schedule visible so that you are aware of the time and the activities that need to be completed.
  • Pay attention to your needs and plan strategies to break out of a toxic relationship.

4. Understand That Change Takes Time and Patience

When you feel disheartened, remember that lasting change doesn’t come immediately. The most challenging habits to break are the ones we’ve held on to for too long, even if we’ve realized they are no longer serving us. So, be kind to yourself and give yourself the time and care you need while undergoing this transformation.

5. Allow Yourself to Celebrate Success

No modification in your unproductive behavior habits is significant, no matter how minor. So, pat yourself on the back for each small accomplishment you achieve on your journey to transformation.

Closing Thoughts: Learning How to Accept Growth and Change for The Better

It is possible to modify your behavior over time, but you must be willing to change and advance. It is crucial to realize that maintaining the change will take work but will be worthwhile.

Related Posts:

My Gift To You:

Download my free step-by-step guide
8 Steps to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

Limiting Beliefs Guide
Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood is a Certified Life Coach, and best-selling author. Her mission is to empower high-performing adults and teens to become resilient self-leaders by reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming imposter syndrome, working through trauma, and re-discovering their AuthenticMe®.

My Weekly Blogs Straight To Your Inbox!

Kamini wood sitting in her office life coach service

Hi There

I’m Kamini Wood

My name is Kamini Wood, and I’m here to accompany you on your journey toward understanding yourself on a deeper level so can create the life you want personally and professionally. It’s time to embrace your AuthenticMe ™