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How To Change Unhealthy Habits

Posted Aug 15 2011 10:27pm

Hi guys!

If you have experienced issues with commenting on my blog the last couple of weeks, I am so sorry! Thank you to all of you who let me know you were having troubles. I was wondering why there were no comments! I installed a spam filter on the blog which prevented many of you (who are most certainly not spammers!) from commenting. It’s fixed now so please do comment away as I adore hearing from you wlEmoticon smile4 How To Change Unhealthy Habits.

I have a really important topic to discuss with you today on changing unhealthy habits. Let’s face it – no matter how many healthy habits you have, if you can’t break the unhealthy ones, you will only be able to go so far with your health and body goals.

It’s very difficult to achieve your ideal digestion, skin, appearance, energy, weight etc, when you have habits that directly prevent them!

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First, a big reminder that this Saturday is my very tasty Delicious Detox Recipes food preparation class where we make amazing, fresh, cleansing, perfectly digested raw food recipes and you get to feast, learn how to make them (and about health in general) and take the recipes home. You also get to have a lot of fun!

There’s limited places for these classes so get in quick by emailing me to let me know you would like to come and I’ll send you the details you need. You can learn more about the class, and my other classes, here .

Changing unhealthy habits (any habits that don’t support you to feel, be and do what is best for you) can be a very complex process because there are usually so many facets involved. I see this time and time again when I am coaching clients .

Some of the reasons we continue to invest in unhealthy habits can include:

  • social pressures and ramifications
  • emotional attachments and reasons
  • mental association and psychological addiction
  • physical addiction
  • lack of self worth and self punishment
  • cultural, societal and media based programming
  • family traditions
  • previous experience
  • lack of education
  • lack of support
  • lack of strategies and tools to facilitate moving forward

…and much more.

As you can see, this is why just saying we are going to change or stop an unhealthy habit is rarely enough. Willpower only gets you so far. That’s why coaching can help, and why my self guided detox and healthy eating programs include daily emails, tools, strategies, support and education to ensure you are best equipped to make lasting changes in your habits.

Today I want to share with you one very helpful tool that will allow you to look at what habits don’t support you, understand why you continue to invest your time and energy in them, and how you can highlight what you would like to change or replace this habit with*.

*Psst, insider tip: this last part is particularly important. It’s much easier to change an unhealthy habit when you have a clear strategy or other healthy habit to replace it with. Having a void is much more challenging.

I call this the “Clarity Habit Buster Method”.

OK I don’t really. I totally just made that up on the spot but it sounds pretty impressive right? It certainly fits the tool. Maybe I’ll trademark it… wlEmoticon winkingsmile3 How To Change Unhealthy Habits

Here’s what to do:

Grab a pen and notebook or open a digital document – whatever you can keep handy to you most days.

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Now write down the answers to the following questions for each unhealthy habit you have that you wish to change.

1. What unhealthy habit is holding me back from what I want to do, be, feel, look like?

2. Why doesn’t this habit work for me?

3. What justification do I tell myself now to allow me to continue with this habit?

4. Is this justification really true?

5. What is my new strategy for changing this unhealthy habit or bringing in a new healthy habit to replace it?

Here’s an example I made up:

Journal open thumb How To Change Unhealthy Habits

1. What unhealthy habit is holding me back from what I want to do, be, feel, look like? I snack on nuts and chips after dinner.

2. Why doesn’t this habit work for me? I feel sluggish, heavy and fatigued. I can’t lose weight. I don’t sleep well as I eat too close to bed and I wake up tired so I don’t feel happy about the day in front of me.

3. What justification do I tell myself now to allow me to continue with this habit? I eat healthy meals for the rest of my meals so it’s not that bad. My partner eats these foods all day long so I should be able to have them once a day.

4. Is this justification really true? No, because I’m not getting the results I want so it can’t be OK for me. My partner is different to me and doesn’t have the same health goals as me so I see now that I can’t measure and justify my actions against his choices.

5. What is my new strategy for changing this unhealthy habit or bringing in a new healthy habit to replace it? I am no longer going to buy those foods. I will talk to my partner about keeping these foods at his work only. I will instead buy organic baked corn chips and eat them with vegetable crudités on nights when I really want something. I will also serve them on a plate in one serving size and eat them away from the TV so I’m not eating mindlessly.

See how it works? The clarity you get in this Clarity Habit Buster Method really makes it hard to ignore the behaviour that’s been holding you back. It’s much harder to make unsupportive choices when you are this conscious. That’s not to say you won’t. You very likely will. But you will be much more aware and that is the very important first step.

Repeat this exercise for any unhealthy habits you have and keep referring back to what you have committed to. Get excited about the results you will achieve with these habits gone from your life!

Reader Feedback: What’s your number one unhealthy habit you want to change?

Are you following the Strong Is Sexy Fitness Challenge ? This is week 4 of the challenge but I have been loving it so much, as have many of you who have been in touch, that I am considering running it for another 4 weeks. Let me know if you would like me to do that by leaving a comment below. Your wish is my command wlEmoticon smile4 How To Change Unhealthy Habits.

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