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Breaking Bad Habits

Posted by Tracii H.

We all have unhealthy little (or not so little) habits that hold us back from succeeding in our wellness regimes. Whatever your personal bad habit is, you CAN break it if you follow these tips: -----Acknowledge that a problem exists. Getting it off your chest and doing away with excuses will provide you with the motivation you need to break the habit. -----Make a resolution and a plan. Write down your resolution and place it in a highly visible area so you are confronted by it everyday. It needn't be long, just something like, "I WILL EAT MORE VEGETABLES TODAY" or "I WILL TAKE TIME FOR MYSELF AND MEDITATE TONIGHT." Then write out a detailed plan of when you will be most tempted to break your resolution and what you will substitute for the bad choice. -----Tell others about your resolution. Don't be afraid to ask for can mean the difference between messing up big time or not at all. -----Break the habit slowly. Instead of giving up all sugar at once, for instance, cut back on the amount of soda by one glass a day. This can be applied to cigarrettes, fast food, or any other unhealthy choice. Cold turkey is rarely a permanent success. -----Allow for mistakes. It's important to remember that you WILL slip up. No one is perfect. The important thing is that you don't allow one slip up to turn into two or three. It's too easy to say, "I overindulged and now the whole day is a waste. I'll just go ahead and indulge for the rest of the day and start again tomorrow." Tomorrow becomes a week and a week becomes a month and so on.
Comments (2)
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although your ideas make sense and will probably help many people, I find that cold turkey is the best way for me. Allowing for mistakes seems too easy for me to slip up on. It is not that I would beat myself up if I make a mistake, but I do feel that you should feel alittle guilty for slipping up. If everything is always ok, do you really get anywhere? I think these days we are too caught up in always feeling ok and sometimes it is fine to feel anger or disapointment, or failure.
I'm sure cold turkey works for a lot of people. While any feeling a person has is OK because it's their own, I'll have to disagree that guilt, shame, or failure are helpful emotions when trying to give up unhealthy habits. These feelings can lead to stress, which can trigger relapses in the behavior. While it isn't harmful to acknowledge such feelings, allowing oneself to wallow in them is, in my opinion, counterproductive and unnecessary. That's not to say that "everything is okay," or that complacency is needed for success, I only meant that being too hard on yourself for making a mistake can lead to not only more mistakes, but also unnecessary stress. I'm all about being in touch with your feelings, though. Suppressing them doesn't really make them go away, anyway.
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