Many of my friends, my clients, and I are starting new health plans. Our goal is to eat well, exercise, and give up some vices. Adopting a new habit requires a lot of motivation and discipline. And quitting a bad habit can be difficult because the forbidden fruit often becomes attractive. Saying no isn’t fun. So how does one stay away from bad habits and/or adopt healthy ones?
#1 – Don’t try to take on too much at once. Focus on one habit at a time.
Take things a step at time. Drastic changes are usually short-lived. Be realistic with your goals. Take conquering one vice or adopting a new healthy habit one at a time. When you have consistently stuck to your goal (for at least two weeks), then add another goal.
#2 – To break a bad habit, do something else instead.
Take your mind and body away from that habit. Replace the bad habit with a good one and keep the benefits in mind.
What can you do instead?
- Look for the positive consequences and focus on them. For example, if you quit smoking, you won’t spend money on cigarettes and can use that money to buy something else that you like. If you are eating healthier, you will feel better. Take time to recognize the feeling and the accomplishment. Have fun with it. Reward yourself each week.
- Do an activity that you can’t do if you had the bad habit. For example, go running or exercise instead of smoking a cigarette.
- Find replacements for urges. If you have an immediate urge, try doing something else to keep yourself occupied. Instead of grabbing a cigarette or a glass of wine, grab your water bottle. Keep your hands busy!
#3 – Remove obstacles. Set up a path to healthy habits.
Don’t torture yourself by being around the forbidden fruit. Rid your house of your cigarettes, wine, or whatever vice. Don’t join people for smoke breaks or wine-tastings! Instead, place yourself in situations that will help you stay on track. For Example, go outside or to the gym. Meet some friends for tennis.
#4 – Keep track of your progress.
Record what steps you do each day to reach your goal. Use a journal, calendar, or app. This helps you see your progress towards your goals and keep you motivated. You can make it fun, too. One client puts a sticker on her calendar for each day she goes for a run. She chooses her best stickers for the hardest workouts. There are also several apps that you can use. The Good Habits App is free, easy to use, and allows you to set reminders.
#5 – Get Support
Tell people about what you’re doing and enlist their support. Get some friends to join you on your mission. They can help encourage you and hold you accountable.
If you want to better yourself and perform better, Summit Performance Consulting LLC works with athletes and students to break bad habits and build good ones. Often we work with clients via phone and Skype.
Find out how your performance can benefit from working with Summit Performance Consulting LLC. Contact us at Info@SummitPerformanceConsulting.com or 561-325-8363 for a free consultation.
If you are struggling with addiction that affects your ability to cope with everyday life, Summit Performance Consulting LLC recommends working with a mental health counselor licensed in your state and attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA meeting styles vary, and so do not hesitate to check out different groups until you find one that meets your needs.