Friday, December 4, 2015

Five Easy Steps For Changing Habits

Five easy steps for changing habits:
1. Awareness: You must become aware of your habits. What is this habit exactly? How is this bad habit or group of bad habits affecting you? How is this habit affecting others? For example, smoking often has negative effects on others as well as on you.
2. Wanting to Change: As someone with a health problem, you must decide that breaking bad habits through a conscious effort is a worthy goal. You must convince yourself that the change in the habit is worth the effort involved.
3. Commitment: You must be determined to do whatever it takes for breaking bad habits so that you can better control your life. You make a decision that “no matter what” you will change the habit. You do the work required to stop. Here are some examples of habits you might want to change: Smoking, eating too much, eating processed foods, not exercising, drinking coffee or other beverages with caffeine in them, eating too much sugar or fat, drinking alcohol, procrastinating, etc.
4. Consistent Action: It is important to focus on changing just one habit at a time. Then, take consistent daily actions for breaking the bad habit that has been causing problems and take the actions to develop a new one. We suggest doing this process one step at a time rather than trying to do it all at once. Sometimes changing a habit can be done “cold turkey” like smoking and sometimes it works better to make a gradual change.
Be sure to give yourself positive rewards often for taking small actions toward changing a bad habit. Continual day-by-day actions are what are critical. This is NOT about an occasional action or step. It is about being consistent every day.
5. Perseverance: There will be times when you question whether it is all worth it. You’ll say to yourself that breaking these bad habits is too difficult; that you are too “weak” to change. Your old self, often so comfortable living with the bad habits, is trying to hold on. Breaking your old patterns may require meditation and prayer.

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