Leaving the dishes for days in the sink, interrupting others or even sleeping through the alarm — we all have some bad habits. Sometimes, they can just be small and a point of humor for family and friends, but others such as eating fast food all the time, not exercising or frequently working late can affect your health and your happiness. It’s always a good time to work on getting rid of pesky habits and work toward being the happiest and healthiest version of you. Here are some tips to get you started:
Identify the root and acknowledge the issue
Habits exist because there is a trigger or behavioral trend that you react to. It could be stress, boredom, depression or even laziness. By identifying why you fall back on this habit, you will be able to acknowledge the issue and devise a plan to change to a more positive reaction or trigger. For example; if you eat mindlessly when you are bored and watching TV, identify the impulse to reach for a snack and instead, do a few simple exercises like jumping jacks in front of the TV. You will establish a new routine and increase your fitness, not your waistline.
Give yourself time
Research shows that it can take three months to fully establish new habits and break old ones. While that may seem like a long haul, every day is one step closer to a new you and it will get easier with every passing day. You also don’t need to try to do it all at once. Start with one key change and work toward it. Once you feel more confident, add another one to the list.
Create a plan and write it down
The best laid plans are the ones that are indeed planned, so sit down and make a plan for the changes you want to make and devise steps on how to achieve them. You will feel more in-control and confident with a clear plan of attack and those bad habits won’t stand a chance.
Treat yourself when you succeed
We all know we are more likely to succeed if there is a tangible reward at the end, so when planning your changes set yourself a reward when you hit the one, two and three month marks. Things like a pedicure or getting your hair blown out can be fun non-food rewards.
Allow for slips
No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes and slips off. By understanding there will be times you fall off the wagon, you can better prepare yourself to get right back on. One bad day does not equal failure, keep going and keep challenging yourself to do better.