The start of the new year is a magical time.

It’s a time in which we can reflect back on our lives and take note of all the aspects of ourselves we could improve upon, including those bad habits. Now, as much as we would all love to become new people at the stroke of midnight and take in all the glory the new year has to offer, we cannot simply bibbity bobbity boo our bad habits away. Changing who we are, and our bad habits, takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication.

But not to worry, we at RIZZARR have got you covered with all the tips you need to break those bad habits and stick to your resolutions:

1.) You Have To Want To Change

Now this may seem pretty basic, but it’s also the most important (and hardest) part about riding yourself of bad habits. You can’t take on a bad habit or lifestyle change because someone else wants you to or because it’s trendy, otherwise chances are you’ll lack the motivation and dedication that this task truly requires. You have to have an honest desire to change for yourself and no one else. If you’re tackling your bad habits for the wrong reasons, they are going to be that much harder to get rid of.

2.) Pace yourself

Of course, the idea of quitting bad habits cold turkey makes us feel more accomplished and successful in our New Year’s goals, but most people (myself included) tend to lack the ability to drop a bad habit completely and never relapse back into it. By pacing yourself, you create realistic goals that will keep you from giving up. Instead of quitting the habit completely, cut back from say five times a day to once a day. Then once you adjust and get used to that, cut back to once a week, then maybe once a month, until you’re completely free of the habit. This route takes more time and commitment, which is why it’s less popular, but it will pay off in the long run.

3.) Figure Out The Cause

Bad habits don’t just spring up on their own, they are usually caused by something. If you figure out what trigger typically leads you back to your bad habit, you can work on avoiding such scenarios or coming up with another response to it. For example, many people like to snack because they think they’re hungry, but they’re really just bored. If they realize this, they can work on recognizing the difference between hunger and boredom, or find healthy substitutes. Knowing the cause behind a habit clears the way to help eliminate it.

4.) System of Accountability

Whatever kind of habit you’re trying to break, having an accountability system will help keep you on track. There are many ways to go about keeping yourself accountable, whether it’s a friend who can help keep you motivated and on task, or a system you make with yourself. Reward yourself when you successfully avoid the bad habit. Whatever it may be, you need to figure out what works for you and stick with it.

5.) Come Up With Alternatives

Not all habits can be broken through dedication or getting a buddy to help you stay accountable. Some habits are triggered by things we can’t change, such a stress. Now as ideal as it would be for all of us to cut stress out of our lives, it’s just not realistic. For these habits, you can figure out better ways to deal with their triggers. Say you pick at your nails when you get in a stressful situation, start carrying a small stress ball you can squeeze instead or perhaps wear a hair tie on your wrist to mess with. Redirecting the cause of the habit to a new outlet will let you overcome the old one.

This article was originally created and published on RIZZARR, the social media platform built by Millennials, for Millennials. The name RIZZARR stems from the Spanish word “rizar”, which means “to ripple”. We’re based on the idea of the ripple effect. At RIZZARR, we know that one person can share their thoughts and make an impact that spreads across our world. Share your thoughts and make an impact on RIZZARR.