Tuesday, January 8, 2013

7 days 7 ways HOW TO BREAK A HABIT

A fresh new year has begun and most of us have habits that we would like to change or stop completely. Here are some tips to help you along the way from Body + Soul.


Wake up and own up.Whatever your bad habit is, you have to treat it the same way. Say to yourself something like, "I'm Amy and I overeat" or "I'm Simon and I spend too much time playing computer games".


It is important to observe yourself in the actual moment that you are doing the problematic behaviour. Say to yourself: "Here I am doing ... [insert habit of choice]". Then the habit is no longer automatic or unconscious. This begins to take away its power over you.


Determine the real cost of your behaviour. For example, it might be the amount of time spent in front of the TV. Ask yourself: "What do I miss out on doing because of this habit? What is its effect on others, my life and me?" Knowing the cost helps motivate you to want to change.


Delve deeper into the reasons for the problem. Ask yourself the following questions: "When do I do this behaviour? What's the trigger? What's driving the behaviour? Am I feeling empty, anxious, tired or avoiding something difficult?" Understand why you are doing what you do.


Deal with the real issues. You will need to confront the things you have been avoiding that are fuelling your bad habit. Are there tough conversations to be had or difficult emotions to be felt? Maybe you have buried issues and emotions from your childhood or teens. Whatever they are, it's time to front up.


Stop yourself slipping back by making the old habit more difficult to do, for example, by putting the banned substance in the top cupboard. Also, swap the bad habit for something healthier, such as eating fruit instead of sweets. And tell someone what you are doing so you have some support.


Stay positive and committed. Don't use slip-ups as a reason to give up. Expect them and just move on. It takes 30 days for a new habit to form, so plan a reward when you have reached this marker. Appreciate the effort you have made and re-commit to it for the next month.


  1. Right, I am going to try this to stop eating sugar! Thank you. Any other tips? Happy new year. x

    1. Go you and good luck. I have cut down a lot of sugar. The only time I add sugar to anything is my coffee. I would like to be more calmer and less reactive. Happy New Year to you too and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. xx


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