6 ways to build up good habits and 3 ways to let go of bad habits

Bad habits: oh I have had plenty in my day. I have blogged before about how I am very naughty and I like to break the rules and I am often quite keen to try new things and to push the envelope. At times in my life I have picked up bad habits, which can get worse if they are not attended to promptly.

It’s fine to like cake and to enjoy eating it but you can’t have it every day for breakfast and not suffer the results. I know, I have tried. Just about anything you want to do can be enjoyed in moderation, it’s the moderation part that many of us have trouble with. This is an ongoing battle for me. I am constantly swinging from one side of the scale to the other, seeking balance.

Good habits can be difficult to build up. They take effort, dedication and skill. Bad habits, on the other hand, can sneak in so easily and quickly that before you know it, you have slipped into a habit that is no good for you. As I get older, I am more aware of these bad habits when they occur. Now I try to aim to ‘nip things in the bud’ when I see them – having said that – I am not always successful. I am a voluptuary and I enjoy the finer things in life. And the naughty things too.

Here are 6 ways I researched that we can build up good habits:

1. Start with a really easy habit!

Some people would say this is not a good suggestion, but I think I will try it. Simply commit to a really easy habit – the example given here is to exercise for 1 minute a day. Hilarious! “Make your new habit so easy that you can’t say no!” says the article.

2. See yourself succeeding

Sometimes the hardest part of achieving is deciding to commit to what your goals are. By visualising yourself achieving what it is you set yourself to do you may be strengthening your resolve to get there.

3. Make a plan

If you have to do something to achieve your goal, make a clear plan of the steps you need to achieve it. For example, if you want to eat healthier, you also need to make time for cooking and shopping for healthy foods.

4. Identify your triggers

What are the things that take you away from your goal? Think of times when you find it hard to stick to your plan and work out a way to combat these problems. Consider you emotions too and plan to nurture yourself when times are tough.

5. Keep yourself accountable

By having firm plans you make it easier for yourself to stay on track. If your goal is too waffly you may not achieve it because it has unclear parameters. Be very clear about what you are trying to achieve and plan it out carefully and exactly.

6. Build good habits into your routine

Start with a few good habits a week. Try delaying an unhealthy food choice or snack, rather than giving it up. This can help you build up your willpower. Try to find the natural moments in your day when you can add to your goals. Push yourself, but only gently.

Here are 3 ways I researched to let go of bad habits:

1. Eliminate excessive options

I love this idea from 99u. The article here mentions that Barack Obama only wears blue and grey suits because he has so many decisions to make in a day that he doesn’t want clothing to be one of them. There are studies that show that eating the same thing every day can aide weight loss. Sometimes getting rid of too many choices can be a productive thing.

2. Plan and don’t fantasise

So many people fail to actually put a workable plan into action. Ask yourself if you really want the thing you are setting out to achieve. Why haven’t you achieved this yet? Is what you are currently doing “good enough”? Challenge yourself more if you are not getting the results you want.

3. Don’t get overwhelmed and stick to your goals

We often expect instant gratification. Real achievements take time to achieve. Don’t get stuck into an instant-gratification trap. Be kind to yourself and try to improve your situation step by step. Listen to your inner power and realise that you can achieve your goals. Don’t give up.

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