Almost everyone is guilty of a bad habit at some point in their life. Be it something simple like a couple of alcoholic drinks now and then or something more serious like a smoking addiction, it can be difficult to try and stop these habits once they’ve taken root.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to kick these bad habits out of the window and you’ll be surprised at how simple it can really be.
WHAT IS YOUR REASON AND MOTIVATION?
Firstly, you need to establish some form of motivation or a reason for why you want to kick out bad health habits. It sounds silly, but the more reason you have to do something the more likely you are to go through with it and see it to the end. For instance, perhaps you decided that you want to avoid the adverse health effects of smoking so you’ve decided to stop. Perhaps you fear that your children will grow up with respiratory issues as a result of your smoking. You could even want to lose weight because your partner is making fun of your size.
There are plenty of reasons out there to kick out unhealthy habits, but it’s incredibly important to solidify your reasons for doing so and back them up with motivation.
ALWAYS HAVE A REALISTIC PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
In addition to having a reason and motivation, you also need a plan. It has to be a realistic plan as well. If you tell yourself you’ll quit smoking in two weeks after smoking for the past decade, then you’re going to need some incredible willpower to be able to do so.
In fact, most people that break smoking relapse several times before they’re finally able to completely break off the habit. If your plan is weight loss, then don’t expect to cut down your weight in just a matter of weeks. Losing weight is a slow and difficult process that takes a while, and extreme weight loss can actually be damaging to your health.
REPLACE BAD HABITS WITH BETTER ONES
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to kick out their bad health habits is they attempt to remove it completely. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple and you’ll need something to replace it. It can be something similar, such as replacing cigarettes with chewing gum instead or swapping sugary soda for diet soda. These are small changes that you can probably cope with, and it’s a fantastic start for anyone who’s looking to improve their habits. If you try to cut out soda and just drink water, it’ll require an insane amount of willpower to pull off and you’ll find yourself binging on soda because you miss it.
Take small steps instead of large ones and focus on how practical and sustainable they are. Avoid making large changes to your lifestyle and do your best to stick to smaller differences in your life.
If you want a bit more information about how to replace your bad habits, check out this informative article at JamesClear.com which goes into detail about why we have those bad habits in the first place.
STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Another thing to keep in mind is your comfort zone. Whether or not you realize it, you have to become uncomfortable in a situation in order to grow used to it. If exercise sounds daunting to you because you’re afraid of going to the gym or because you don’t want to tire yourself out, then you have to get used to it—there’s no other way around it. Start by doing exercises privately at home.
Consider getting a friend or family member to come with you to the gym, preferably someone with similar weight loss goals as you. Having a friend makes it a lot more pleasant to go out publicly, and it also helps you keep track with your future goals.
Similarly, habits such as drinking coffee usually develop because you’re afraid or uncomfortable with drinking something else like water, tea or juice. In short, step outside of your comfort zone if you want to make a difference to your health.
UNDERSTAND WHERE TO GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
Be it a personal trainer, nutrition expert or even emergency care services like OurUrgentCare.com, you need to make sure you have contact details of people that can help you out. Kicking out bad habits isn’t easy. If it was, then you wouldn’t see support groups and meetings all over the world that have been created for the sole purpose of beating your bad habits together with friends.
Don’t be shy about attending a meeting or looking for help on the Internet. There are some incredibly useful resources out there, so make ample use of them and don’t neglect the possibility of having a coach or a mentor teach you how to break out of your bad habits.
In addition, your family can also provide you with motivation, giving you the mental fortitude required to break away from bad health habits.
IT’S A LIFELONG GOAL, NOT A TEMPORARY ONE
Small victories are fine to celebrate, but if you’re serious about making long-term changes to your health, then you have to understand it’s a long journey, not a brief trip. You have to accept the fact you’ll fail from time to time and you need to track your progress with long-term goals in mind. Just because you’ve been exercising for a week and eating well, it doesn’t mean that you’ll lose as much weight as you think. Just because you’ve stopped smoking for two weeks, it doesn’t mean you can’t fall back into those habits.
Celebrate your small victories, but never get frustrated because you aren’t making progress and don’t get too excited because you think you’ve broken a habit after just two weeks of skipping it.
As you can see, kicking out bad habits isn’t just about sheer willpower. It’s also about being smart and using common sense, as well as coping with the fact that you can’t eliminate bad habits completely — they need to be replaced.
If you want to live a healthy life, then you have to live with the fact that getting rid of bad habits takes work. Fortunately, once you reach a point where you can look back and see a difference, you’ll be motivated to continue working hard and maintain your new health status.