Breaking Bad Habits In Four Steps

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Breaking bad habits can be difficult, but you can escape from the burden. All that is required is some introspection and a solid plan.

And while we’re at it, how about habits that seem harmless but are not? Let’s look at them as well. Think of it like spring cleaning or de-cluttering your body and mind.

Welcome to Fearlessly Holistic. My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible. It is my hope to inspire you to join me in making daily changes to improve long term health. Eating fresh, seasonal food and getting some sunshine is the best way to increase longevity.

But you do not want just a long life. You want a healthy, high quality long life.

I like to focus on practical information and positive thinking, as well as come cool tips that I have learned the hard way. If that sounds good to you, then be sure to read any “Related Post’s” within the page for more quality information.

**My blog posts are my opinion and the results of things that I have tried that either worked for me or didn’t. My opinions are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them**

What Is Meant by a Bad Habit?

For the most part, a bad habit is something that you do repetitively, that you can stop doing when you really and truly decide to, and that society has deemed to be bad.

I was a smoker for a long time, and I tried many times to quit. But my friends smoked, my family members smoked, and my co-workers smoke.

I felt doomed, but I kept trying.

Luckily for me, I was super sick when I was pregnant and being around cigarette smoke made me physically ill. Smoking is repulsive to me now. (I do not recommend getting pregnant just to quit smoking, btw).

I have since learned of the power of figuring out how and why my bad habit started and what I want to replace it with. This is part of goal setting, and it has been a game-changer for me. I want it to help you as well because it feels so good to do right by ourselves.

Bad habits may breaks laws, customs or some moral code for the society. Most people think that bad habits are something to be avoided because they can often affect your health and wellness.

Breaking Bad Habits pinterest pin
PIN IT!! Breaking Bad Habits

There Are Different Categories of Bad Habits

man looking at his watch
Watching the clock

Time-Wasting Habits – Not putting things where they go, not creating a place for everything you own, and not keeping your stuff organized can make you waste time. Wasting time looking for things can end up affecting your down time.

Bad health Habits – If you have some unhealthy habits like eating unhealthy snacks every night, watching lots of TV instead of doing physical things, and avoiding going to the doctor on a regular basis, you can truly affect your health negatively.

Bad sleeping habits – Staying up late and going to bed at a different time each night may mean that you are not getting as much sleep as you may think. And using your mobile phone before bed disrupts your production of melatonin (the hormone that tells our body that it’s nightime) and reduces the amount of REM (= restful) sleep that you get.

Bad Work Habits – Sharing too much with co-workers, taking extra long breaks, having a messy work area, having bad manners, and stealing office supplies are all bad work habits. So is going to work sick, but I get that some people do not have paid sick days.

Bad Money Habits – Overspending, gambling (including lottery tickets), chronic credit card use, not tipping, treating yourself more often than you should, and spending money on unhealthy vices like cigarettes, drugs or alcohol are all bad money habits.

Bad Driving Habits – Cutting people off, not signalling your intention to turn, tailgating, driving slow in the fast lane, speeding through yellow lights, and not checking blind spots are just a few. And let’s not forget using a cell phone while driving!

Bad Social Habits – If you have a bad habit of being late, not caring about others much, or doing behaviors that repel others, you may end up with no social life. This can be: inviting people to events that only you were invited to, using your phone at dinner, and complaining to get attention.

Habits That Harm Others – Smoking around other people (especially kids) and drinking and driving (or drugs and driving) fit in this category.

Habits That Ruin Relationships – Habits like being sloppy, unclean, and being inconsiderate can ruin many relationships, especially if you’re late a lot or gossip too much. As well, not helping out or doing the bare minimum can make your partner feel second best.

Gross Habits – Smoking and nail biting come to mind when it comes to gross habits that people do. So does nose picking, picking your toes with your fingers, blowing your nose in public, and taking your shoes off in public and then putting them up on a chair. Yuck.

Eight Seemingly Harmless Habits That Are Actually Bad Habits

These are things that people do habitually that they think are good when they’re really not. Maybe it seemed logical but then turned out not to be true once science looked at it.

Staying at a job that you hate – Have ever worked with someone who should have quit long ago? Then you know that they make life miserable for everyone around them. If it is your time to leave, start looking at other options now and make a long range plan to get out. It is not worth the money or benefits to be chronically unhappy.

Squeezing Your Pimples – Many people like to squeeze their pimples, but this is not good for you. If you don’t do it right, you could end up with a nasty skin infection and the possibility of permanent scarring.

Eating Unnatural “Low-Fat” Food – Due to all the bad press that fat gets, a lot of people think they’re doing the right thing when they buy low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, low-fat dressing and so forth – but it’s not good for you. The main reason is that they usually replace the fat with sugar to make it palatable. Eating natural fat is much better for you than sugar, plus it satiates you longer.

Eating Six Small Meals a Day – This is a common diet idea that people think they need to follow. It’s common in all types of diet plans and is supposed to help control hunger by keeping your blood sugar steady. Sadly, studies are showing that this doesn’t really work because people who eat smaller meals report being hungrier more than those who eat fewer larger meals.

Related Post: The Benefits of Eating Healthy

bottles of water on a table
Bring your own water bottle

Drinking Bottled Water over Tap Water – Most bottled water is infected with plastic residue. If you live in a place with potable tap water, you should use it. You can get an in-home filtering system that will cut down on chemicals like bleach and fluoride.

You Drink Juice Every Day – One problem with juice is that the fiber has been removed. When you drink juice without the fiber in it, you are just bombarding your body with a high dose of sugar, because juice is liquid candy basically.

Eating processed carbs – Many people are in the habit of reaching for processed grain foods to fill them up, but these foods have the opposite effect and tend to cause weight gain without leaving you satisfied for very long. Foods like: bread, muffins, crackers, bagels, any “low fat” baked goods, cereals, instant oatmeal, cookies.

You Do Juice and Smoothie “Fasts” – Lots of people today like to do “detoxes” to clean their bodies, usually with smoothies or juices. The bad thing is, most of the time these are high-fruit-based recipes that can really harm your blood sugar and your metabolism. Most of the juices you can buy are loaded with sugar, in the form of the highly addictive high fructose corn syrup. The best detox is to eat real food and drink your water.

You Work Out for Hours Per Day – Some daily exercise is good for you, but normal people should not train daily. Your body requires rest to help build up muscle between workouts. The best exercise is mimicking how daily life was before the invention of cars and office jobs. Walking, climbing, lifting heavy things, yard work, and sprinting are the best ways to stay in shape. It’s what our bodies are designed for.

4 Actions That Help Break Bad Habits

We all have areas where we want to improve; health, work, family, you name it. But reality sets in along with a busy schedule that doesn’t leave any space for quite time, let alone individual goal development. Or maybe we just don’t know where or how to start?

We also rarely have the willpower we need to see it through because we have not put the time in figuring out why we want to achieve goals or break bad habits..

Not being able to define your own long-term goals will end up in a life that’s devoid of meaning or direction.

You start losing that spark and the motivation to get up each morning wanes.

Experts define personal growth planning as “the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement.”

An individualized growth plan can help you achieve the vision you have of yourself.

It’s something we need to consciously think about and strive toward. If you don’t plan your own development and growth, no one else will.

Here are 4 steps you can take for a well-developed, easy-to-implement, personalized plan.

1. Know Thyself

a stack of sticky notes
Make a list of what you want to change

In order to plan for the future, you have to reflect on your past experiences, your weaknesses and strengths; they’ve made you who you are today.

Be aware of:

  • When did your bad habit start?
  • What triggers your bad habit?
  • Where are you when you do your habit?
  • Who are you with?
  • How many times a day do you do your bad habit?

You also have to clarify your own unique values, such as integrity, respect for others, leadership, honesty.

If your bad habit really bothers you and you want to stop it, you should try to understand how it works against your values.

Your values define your stance whether it’s at the workplace, with family and friends, and in your romantic relationships. Moreover, there are several important questions you have to ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to become in life?
  • What are my achievements up until now?
  • How do I set personal goals?
  • Do I have career ambitions?
  • Have I taken steps to pursue these goals and ambitions?

Think about what you want and not what other people want you to be. Once you’ve asked and answered these questions, you’ll start to get a clearer vision of who you are and what you want out of life. Use this to start to build the life you really want.

Related Post: 15 Positive Thinking Tips To Help You Succeed

2. Develop your vision

A smart tip is to provide yourself with several options to reach your next goal. That way, if something goes wrong or you face an obstacle, you can switch to another path.

Be flexible in your planning because people tend to underestimate how long a certain project will take.

Another point people tend to not pay attention to is what they don’t want to do. If you’re at work, you can make a list of what-not-to-do, for example:

  • Check emails as soon as they come in
  • Keep too many tabs open at once
  • Keep cell phone on your desk
  • Check social media while you’re working

Try not to dwell on what you don’t want. Instead, think about a positive alternative. For example, check Facebook at the end of the work day instead of the beginning.

3. Assess your present-day situation

Implementing your plan can be challenging at first. But with dedication and an eye on the prize, you’ll soon find that it becomes a daily habit. It was Jim Ryun who said,

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Putting your strengths to good use will harness your energy levels so that it’s utilized efficiently.

You can set up milestones along the way because smaller goals give you the motivation and drive you need to get to the big ones.

And each time you reach a milestone or achieve one of the small goals, reward yourself for your hard work.

4. Review your progress

Your exclusive growth plan needs to be assessed for effectiveness. You can do it on a weekly basis, or every month; whatever feels comfortable for you. But it’s crucial that you take a step back and look at all the hard work you’ve accomplished.

Maybe the mini-goals you set up last time don’t fit your criteria any longer, or they need tweaking or readjusting.

Reflect on your experience and consider everything you’ve learned.

This will ensure that you keep moving forward according with your long-term plan and the vision you’ve set up for yourself.

On a final note, you can draw up the perfect plan but if you don’t follow through, you won’t get anywhere.

Everyone needs practice to develop and grow, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. Having something to strive toward can renew your self-confidence and passion for life.

More Tips To Help You Break Your Bad Habit

Two littles girs walking together
Bring a friend to help you

1. Find people that you can emulate

If you want to be happier, hang out with happy people and see how they behave in different situations. Then copy them. Start replacing negative friends and co-workers with positive, up-lifting people.

2. Replace bad habits with good ones

Want to quit jumping on to Facebook first thing? Try a news feed blocker like the News Feed Eradicator extension for Chrome. It removes your feed and replaces it with an inspirational message.

3. Get a buddy

Some habits, like eating healthy or getting more exercise, are better with a partner. You can help each other stay on track and you have someone to share your wins with.

4. Cut out as many of your bad habit triggers as possible

To quit eating junk food, you have to quit buying it. To quit smoking, stop other bad habits that are tied to it, like smoking when you’re on the phone or smoking while driving. Just stop them one at a time and you will realize how invasive these habits are.

5. Use visualization to see yourself as successful.

Most successful people, like athletes or even actors, use visualization to imagine themselves with the life that they really want. If you want to lose weight, imagine yourself with a slimmer body. If you want a tidier home, imagine your rooms with the bare necessities and everything else gone or put away in storage.

6. Use affirmations

Affirmations are positive phrases that we use to override negative programming. We must always say affirmations in the present tense and clearly stating the final outcome that we want.

For example: “I am so happy and grateful for my healthy body” or “I am grateful to have robust good heath”

Avoid using negative terms like ‘not’, because your mind can’t filter for these terms.  If you say “I am so glad that I am not a smoker anymore”, what your brain hears and will act upon is “I am glad I am a smoker”.

Your brain is programmed to help you be happy. If you want to break away from habits that your brain thinks will keep you happy, you must reprogram it for change. Affirmations help with this.

7. Assume that you will have some failures

In this case, failure is not a bad thing. Try to figure out what went wrong so that you can course-correct and try again. Keep trying new ways to stop things that do not serve you. Eventually you wil find what works for your unique situation.

Conclusion

Breaking bad habits is challenging, but rewarding. The skills that you learn from making a plan, setting goals, and using positive reinforcement will serve you in other ares of your life.

You also get a burst of good feelings from the achievement of successfully completing tasks that benefit your life.

Holistic approaches never just address symptoms of specific health problems, but instead aim to return or keep the patient in a state of balanced health between mind, body, and spirit. Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.

Please share this post with anyone who can benefit from it. Sharing is caring!

And follow me on Pinterest!

Until next time, here’s to our health!

-Irma

 

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