Just one more.
One more bite, one more TV show, one more drink.
We think “one more” won’t hurt us, but what we may not realize is that our lives are just a series “one more’s” equating to an unhealthy lifestyle.
An attitude of just “one more” can set the stage for regret. Once our regrets amount to frustration, exhaustion, and self-hate we are then motivated to a new attitude of “no more!”
We all want to live healthy lives. We want to feel good. We all struggle to choose between instant gratification and long-term wellbeing.
Sometimes to achieve our goals, we need to learn how to break free from unhealthy habits.
Eager to learn how to break free of unhealthy habits and to gain back control?
Read on to find out exactly how to get your life, body, and mind back on track.
10 Steps to Free Yourself of Unhealthy Habits
Are you at odds with your body? Do you feel sluggish, irritable, and unmotivated? Explore the following steps to break unhealthy habits so you can get back to living your best life.
1. See It
The first step in breaking an unhealthy habit it to see it. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.
Start by simply identifying the unhealthy behavior.
Try to love yourself by not beating yourself up mentally for these behaviors. Get honest and be accountable, but know that behaviors can always be changed with the right tools, attitude, and action.
Once we’ve identified the behaviors we’d like to change, such as overeating or neglecting our finances, it’s time to explore these habits further.
What are the consequences of these behaviors? How do we feel after we partake in unhealthy habits?
For example, when we drink too much or use substances such as pain medication recreationally, we may feel tired, sick, and anxious. We might miss work, get fired, and not feel like socializing with loved ones.
We might even notice we are addicted to a substance. Knowing the warning signs of addiction, such as to painkillers, can help to determine what further action is needed.
Consequences are simply trying to get your attention.
We can view consequences as natural results of our behaviors. They may feel like punishments, but they are actually opportunities for us to break our unhealthy habits if we allow them to teach us something.
Unhealthy behaviors meet one or more of our needs just like healthy behaviors do. The only difference is the quality of our results.
Understand, our emotions and needs call us to take action.
Our task is to learn how to respond to these emotions instead of soothing them with unhealthy habits such as smoking cigarettes or eating fast food.
To understand more about your unhealthy behaviors ask yourself why you engage in them.
For example, many people smoke to relieve stress, escape from others, and to distract themselves from painful emotions. Some folks eat because they’re bored, feel lonely, or are agitated. Find out why you engage in your unhealthy habits to understand yourself better.
4. Focus on Building
Tony Robbins, practicing psychologist and life strategist believes, “Where focus goes, energy flows.”
Once you identify what an unhealthy habit is doing for you, ask yourself what healthy habit could meet the same needs.
A smoker, for example, can relieve stress, focus on themselves, and reduce pain by exercising which releases feel-good endorphins. A smoker could also meet these needs by reading a good book or joining a painting class.
It’s tempting to focus on the results we don’t want. We certainly need to be aware of the results of our unhealthy behaviors, but we also need to focus even more on building habits we do want.
5. Set Goals
Start by setting long-term goals.
Setting goals can help you to create behaviors needed to achieve your goals. Setting goals also let you know when your behaviors aren’t matching up. Resulting in either reassessing and/or changing your goals or behaviors.
Make sure to be realistic when setting goals.
It’s tempting to sometimes want to see results quickly, but doing so could also be damaging to your health and only last short-term. The key is to build healthy habits and behaviors to meet your goals so that these habits stick and become a long-term, lasting lifestyle choices.
If you want to lose 30 pounds, for example, give yourself at least 30 weeks to meet this goal to allow for a healthy weight loss of at least one pound per week. Decide to achieve this by eating healthy meals, working out, drinking water, and focusing on stress reduction.
6. Divide and Conquer
Once you have your long-term goals in mind, it’s time to divide and conquer. Dividing your long-term goals into short-term, manageable goals sets the stage for longevity and healthy living.
Start small and build on your success. If your goal is to get more sleep, start by creating a weekly goal of going to bed 30 minutes earlier. Once you achieve this goal, try going to bed 1 hour earlier.
In the beginning, you may also add in a goal to exercise for 30 minutes 3x per week in order to promote better sleep.
By dividing up your goal and starting small, you set realistic expectations for yourself which then build your confidence as you achieve them.
Allow yourself space and acceptance to experiment. Some strategies or plans will work for others, but may not work for you. This is completely normal and okay.
We learn as we go!
Allow your goals to remain the same if it’s a healthy, realistic goal, but be flexible in how you approach and achieve it.
8. Gain Support
Many of us may have had friends who encouraged our “one more” attitude. But, what we’re learning is while those friends want us to feel good in the moment, they aren’t taking into account our long-term health and happiness. Perhaps we were those friends ourselves.
Learn to identify and ask for the type of support you need. Surround yourself with positive, goal-oriented, and caring people who want to see you achieve your goals. Ask for encouragement, accountability, and a listening ear.
Ask questions, continue learning and be open-minded to suggestions.
9. Do It
Resist the “I don’t feel like it’s.” Many days you won’t feel like it, but what’s important is that you train yourself to do it. If you don’t take action, then you won’t meet your goals.
You then risk falling back into old, unhealthy habits and starting all over again. Listen to your body’s needs, but don’t neglect your goals in pursuit of simply feeling good at the moment.
Constantly check in with your goals and strategies. Keep what is working and leave the rest.
If a goal is no longer serving your well-being, that’s okay! Adjust the goal or adjust the strategy for achieving the goal.
Once you meet your goals, you may also find that you can achieve an even bigger goal!
Building Anew by Breaking Unhealthy Habits
Breaking unhealthy habits takes time, patience, and determination. No one is perfect, so when you make a mistake lean on your support system, goals, and healthy habits to get you back on track.
Believe in yourself, you got this!
If you’re considering starting a new life from scratch, then read our blog post to discover how to begin a new chapter in your life.