Mission Impossible?! How to break bad habits and form new ones.
You’re feeling positive, and you’re feeling motivated. You know that you are ready to try something new and to transform your way of life. Out with the evening TV binge and the late-night snacks. This time you’re really going to make a difference, and you’re going to stick with it. Fast-forward 3 or maybe 4 weeks, and the chances are, you’ll have a vague recollection of having this conversation with yourself, but yet here you are again. And nothing has changed. How can you break bad habits and form new ones when it feels like mission impossible?!
Change your perspective
It’s good for you to know why you want to make the change and understand your reasons. For example, stating that you want to lose half a stone is the change you want, but why do you want to? Is to make you feel more confident? Or is it to fit back into a certain pair of jeans? Your reasons are personal to you, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of them. But if you focus on your reasons for why you want to change, it will be a more powerful approach mentally for you to help you achieve your goals.
Identify your triggers
Is 10pm your weak spot for grabbing the biscuits? Do you reach 5pm and also reach for the large glass of wine? When you meet up with a certain friend, do you tend to go a little overboard and have a case of the regrets the next day? By identifying your triggers, you can challenge them. Find an alternative something to do at that time of the day that prevents you from partaking in that habit. Suggest an alternative style of venue for you and your friend to meet up at. Little tweaks in your routine that will help eliminate your triggers for the behaviours you want to stop.
One step at a time
Implementing any of the changes you wish to make to break those bad habits will be easier if you take them one at a time. Attempting to stop everything all at once will feel overwhelming and is just so difficult to accomplish. You can’t change your whole lifestyle overnight. Many of the bad habits you are seeking to reform will have been in your life for years. Trying to cut the wine, the snacking, the smoking, and the late nights all at the same time will leave you feeling like you have given up everything you enjoy in your life (not true, but this will be what your brain attempts to get you to believe) and you’ll be fighting a losing battle of willpower with your mind and body. Take one habit at a time, replace it with a new, improved, action, and once you’re comfortable with this, you can take on the next one.
Find your support system
Have somebody in place that you can contact when you’re really feeling the challenge. Somebody who will encourage you, motivate you, and remind you why you are doing this. Not the person who says, “Well, just this once cant hurt”. This support person might, therefore, not be your bestie, but somebody that can be more objective for you. Someone who isn’t worried about giving you answers to your questions and that you might not be wanting to hear at that exact time. They’ll be able to help keep you on track through the frustrations and help get you back on track after the setbacks. Because none of this is going to be straightforward or easy, and it’s best for you to acknowledge this now. But when you finally look back and realise how far you have come, it will all be worth it.
Written by Becky Barrett