Your identity and it's tight grip on your life.
A lot of your behaviors can be traced back to your personal identity.
You personal identity is informed by familial, cultural and worldly views you hold dear to your heart. It is both at a conscious and a sub-conscious level. This didn’t happen overnight — you will have learned and conditioned these truths about yourself for years.
That’s precisely why bad habits are hard to break and why just “motivation” doesn’t work.
Your bad habits are “easy short cuts” that your mind picks from it’s most recent mental grooves. If all most recent grooves point to one type of behavior, it is impossible for your mind to decide whether it is good or bad in the moment when there is an urge. It just forces you to do that “familiar” action to get that release from stress. (satisfy the urge)
But what’s familiar may not always mean it’s the healthiest choice. Quite often, it’s really the worst option.
If you want to save yourself from making unhealthy choices/behaviors, you should actively work on making the meaningful and healthier options not only “easier to select” but also reward yourself with tiny victories along the way.
Every time you make the better choice, celebrate your courage to have chosen a new behavior. Every time you pick a more thoughtful behavior, you are getting closer to an improved identity.
The good news is identity change is not impossible. It’s only hard and gradual. But what’s the rush?
If it takes 1 year or 10 years, as long as you are enjoying the process and are fully in tune with your purpose, you are on the path of becoming a better person.