Do you drink too much coffee or spend just a little bit too long snoozing in bed? We all have some bad habits that we want to kick, but not to worry – nobody is perfect! If this rings true to you, then read on to find out how you can free yourself from the shackles of a habit you’d rather not have.
How do they start?
An essential part of kicking a bad habit is to explore why you do it in the first place. Bad habits can be triggered by a number of things but it’s safe to say that the majority are the product of stress or boredom. For example, when we are stressed we might be tempted to distract ourselves by biting our nails or having a sugary snack as a ‘reward’. The more we associate these actions with stress, the more we will do them!
It works the same way when we are bored. It’s all too easy to procrastinate on the Internet or watch TV instead of doing something productive when we have nothing else to do – instead why not find a hobby, learn an instrument or even sort out your laundry!
Here’s what you need to do:
Identify a clear goal
Now that you know what the bad habit is and why you do it, set yourself a series of goals to help steer you in the right direction. By having a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you have something to aim for. If you need a little push, set yourself a timeframe or let a friend know about it so they can nag you!
Think about your bad habit and what your life would be like without it. Feels good, right? Well that can totally be a reality if you stick to it, so if you feel like you are slipping back just keep that in mind. A handy trick here is to simply cross off each day you succeed in the calendar or even keep a journal to log your progress and vent your thoughts.
Kicking a habit is tough enough, but if it’s your environment that causes it, you should try and change it! If it’s a workplace that might not be so easy, but there are sure to be ways to lower your stress or boredom levels. It’s all about perspective and tipping the little things into your favour. For example, if you stay in bed a little too long on weekends, put your TV remote or phone out of reach so you have to get up.
Instead of completely removing a habit from your life, why not switch it out instead? This is actually a lot easier and can actually encourage you to lead a healthier lifestyle. For instance, if you like a sugary coffee in the morning why not have a green tea instead? If you want to cut down on unhealthy snacks, substitute them for healthy ones (like Eat Nākd Bars!) We are all wired into patterns and routines, so turn this to your advantage.
Your’e only human! Reward yourself
If you fail, no big deal! Just get back on the horse and carry on – don’t give up. Give yourself little rewards and recognise what you’ve achieved through willpower so far. This can be great for your motivation and morale, so go ahead and buy those new shoes or go to the movies if you feel like you deserve it! However, keep your rewards sensible - don’t go off and eat a cheeseburger because you’ve eaten healthier this week!
Stay positive and smile! You can do this J