We all know that getting rid of bad habits and adopting the good ones is beneficial for our health. The main reasons to give them up is a risk to get serious heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Pursuing a better quality of life, you have already tried to stop smoking, get more sleep, do exercises, and eat less. If you are reading this, then chances are that most of these habits didn’t become your regular practices. And most of us know how frustrating such failures might be.
However, don’t let those challenges and setbacks break your will! There are ways to change your habits and we are going to talk about the most efficient of them.
Be aware about what you do regularly
First and foremost, you need to reflect on your unhealthy habits and find out which patterns in your everyday behavior lead to them. A habit is something we are used to do; therefore, you never think for too long before doing your routine things. For example, if you are used to drink a cup of water before going to bed, chances are that you don’t make a decision, whether to do it or not, you just go to the kitchen and get yourself a glass of water.
Think about your bad habits and various triggers that make you stick to them. For example, you might be overeating when watching TV or smoking cigarettes with your friend even if you don’t really want to. You can change these patterns and build new ones. For instance, switch the TV off when you are eating or come up with other social activities you can do with your friends (walking, jogging, riding a bicycle).
Set the goal and let it motivate you
Think about the reasons you have to quit your bad habits and the goals you are pursuing. For example, if you want to look fit and pretty, then let this thought be on your mind every time you find that box of ice cream tempting. As for your goals, make sure that you know what you want to get. You should have a realistic attitude here. For example, if you are planning to lose 25 pounds in a month, then this might be an unreasonable goal. When setting yourself unreasonable goals, you risk to get frustrated by your results even though they are pretty successful. However, if you plan to lose 5-10 pounds a month, you have all chances to reach and even over-fulfill that goal. Small victories are incredibly motivating when you are going through the hard times of change.
Make a plan
To reach your goal, you need to make a plan and come up with specific practices to move forward. First and foremost, think about everyday practices that can lead you to healthy choices instead of your bad habits. For instance, if you are used to visit a cake-shop after a working day, then change your route. Cook and take healthy foods from home to avoid a temptation to eat pizza or hamburger.
In general, you need to know what exactly you need to reach the goal. This will help you change things that surround you and make them rather supporting than seducing. You need to remove everything that may lead you to the wrong moves, buy healthy products, or find a place that makes you feel relaxed. Don’t forget that you will meet the challenges and obstacles on your way, so you need to have a plan for them as well. Sometimes, an unexpected situation can push you to come back to your bad habits. How will you continue making the right choices when something tempting or stressful happens? Extreme situations reduce your critical thinking and push you towards automatic behavior. So you need to know how to fight them before they occur.
Also, motivate your friends and relatives to join you. First, it is really hard to quit bad habits when everybody around you keep doing things you want to stop doing. Second, a sense of support and solidarity is very inspiring.
Write your plans down and place the list on a visible place
When you have a concrete goal divided into smaller plans, you can make a list or a scheme. Formulate your goals correctly when writing them down. For example, don’t write something like “I want to be fit and pretty,” but rather “I will go to the gym three days a week.” It is important to be very specific and remind yourself that you need to work hard to reach the goals you have. Also, you can write down the reasons why you need to follow this plan. Why is that important to you? What makes you change your life? After you are done, place the list on the mirror, fridge or anywhere else to see it every day.
Get enough rest
To stay tuned and energetic, you need to sleep at least eight hours a day and let your body and brain recreate. This is especially important if you go to a gym or do any physical exercises, since your organism needs rest and strength for your next steps. A lack of sleep can make you anxious, tired and annoyed, which can lead to stress and trigger your return to the bad habits. One way to help you get more quality sleep is a sleep mask. Also, provide yourself with a back-up and make sure that you don’t overload yourself with work or studying. For instance, make sure that your share your tasks at work if you cannot deal with them or go to an essay writing service if your tasks are too overwhelming. It’s okay to ask for assistance when you really need it, especially when your education and work prevents you from having enough rest.
Be positive and reward yourself
When you complete your goals and move forward, make sure to reward yourself. For example, buy those amazing shoes, visit a spa salon or go to a cinema. Self-rewards are great to keep you in track. Just don’t buy yourself any snacks and sweats if you are trying to lose weight and don’t allow yourself a jar of beer if you are trying to quit drinking. This will bring you in an endless circle.
No need to say that changing your lifestyle to a healthier one is a real challenge. Still this is something you can accomplish! Think about your current lifestyle, set specific goals, and remove all the triggers that might bring you back to the starting point. Changing your habits is not easy and the results will take some time. So keep your pecker up and good luck!
About the author:
Jennifer Pauli graduated from Corvinus School of Management and finished the faculty of Journalism at the Corvinus University of Budapest. Currently, She is an editor, business writer, and copywriter, working with well-known companies, blogs, and personalities. Follow her on Twitter, and read the personal blog.