No matter how healthy you are or even how healthy you’d like to be, we all have a few bad habits we should break when it comes to our health. They’re usually easy to make (and hard to break), and that’s why so many of us have them. To truly break them, though, we need to get ourselves into gear and realise what we need to change to be happier, healthier people.
We’ve looked at some of the best tried-and-tested techniques out there to try and finally kick some of these bad habits for good and get you on the right path for a healthier ‘rest of your life’. No one said it would be easy, so don’t shoot the messenger if you don’t get it the first time!
Let’s run through it:
Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.
- Identify the Bad Habits
- Think About Why You Want to Stop
- Identify Your Triggers
- Keep Trying
- Keep It Up
- Reward Yourself
1. Identify the Bad Habits
So, before you do absolutely anything else at all, you need to come to terms with what your bad habits are. Whether you’re here because you want to stop eating unhealthily and become a healthier person, quit smoking, or even stop biting your nails so much, it doesn’t matter. This is general advice that will work for anyone, and the first stage of any change in your life must be realising the problem. You need to look at what you are doing and whether or not you and others think it’s a bad habit. That makes sense
2. Think About Why You Want to Stop
Step 2 is figuring out why you want to stop (or why you should want to stop if you’re not already there yet). This is something that’s unique to everyone, and there are always different reasons for people’s choices in life. This is usually to do with things like wanting to make a healthy change in life or even better financial decisions. Whatever your reasons for breaking your bad habit are, they’re yours and yours alone. Try your very best to find as many as you can and pick the most important to you. You need to think about the long term for you to have the best possible chance, and when things get tough, these will be on your side.
3. Identify Your Triggers
For the majority of us, we have triggers for our bad habits. Whether you know it or not, there are little things in life that are probably triggering your bad habit or even allowing it to continue. It could be something like a habit of having a cigarette when you get to your car, biting your nails when you get bored or anxious, or even just procrastinating a workout because you drive past your house on your way home from work. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you come to terms with what the problems are. Once you’ve done that, you know the obstacles that you have to overcome, and you can make a conscious decision to avoid whatever you’re about to do.
Now that you know what you want to quit, why you want to, and what makes you do it, it’s time for the big guns. Take 1: trying to change. With any luck, this will be the only thing left between you and breaking your bad habit, and when you try to change, you’ll change for good. For many of us, it doesn’t always work like that, but when you finally give up making excuses for yourself and come to terms with wanting to change enough to try, that’s a huge step in the right direction. No matter what happens, whether it’s one workout or a 6-month plan, you’ve done a great thing and helped to push yourself in the right direction!
5. Keep Trying
This one doesn’t always apply, and it depends entirely on how the step above went. For most people, breaking a bad habit just like that is not quite that simple, and you may well not manage it the first time around. You’re only human, and as the old saying goes, you only fail when you stop trying. The best thing to do is to evaluate what’s gone on. Why have things gone wrong, and what made you do it? Whatever it was, realise it and make a change, try to avoid that pitfall again, and try again. Keep pushing until you nail it! You can do more than you think, even if it’s just cutting out junk food!
6. Keep It Up
After all is said and done, you’re still not out of the woods yet. Whether you nailed it on your first try or on your fiftieth, it doesn’t matter. The only thing stopping you from going back to your old ways is you. Now, you’re not the person who used to skip the gym; you’re the person who doesn’t skip the gym. You need to enjoy life without the bad habit even after breaking it, and ensure you keep it up in the long run! It’s hard work, but the worst is well and truly over if you can make things routine and enjoyable!
7. Reward Yourself
One last thing you need to consider is how you will reward yourself for your awesome work. If you manage to quit something bad for your health and make a change for the better, then you deserve a reward. Find something to do with the time, money or effort you save and celebrate the change you’ve made! Treat yourself to a new, healthier habit, or buy something you’ve wanted for a while. Do whatever you can to help reinforce your positive changes, and enjoy your progress!
Breaking a bad habit and improving a new one is never easy, or you wouldn’t need to be here. Everyone has bad habits, and the only person that can change them is you. Do whatever you can to make things easy for yourself, and remember to just keep on trying. There’s always a reason to want to change, and it’s never easy. You can do whatever you set your mind to, and with a good diet, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, you’re well on your way to being a better you.
All of the information we’ve looked through is based on theories from a model called the transtheoretical model of change. For some serious science, feel free to check it out yourself! We don’t make this stuff up!
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If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.