4 Tips to Break Bad Habits & Create New Healthy Habits for Life
"Most of us are going through life with the emergency brake on. It's time to release the limiting beliefs, emotional blocks, and self-destructive behaviors that are holding you back." -- Jack Canfield in The Success Principles
Is it time for you to remove the emergency brake on habits that are not serving you?
According to Canfield, if you develop 4 new habits a year, 5 years from now you will have 20 new successful habits that ‘could bring you all the money you want, the wonderful loving relationships you desire, a healthier, more energized body, plus all sorts of new opportunities.’
Think about developing one new habit every quarter of a year. That’s only one, new habit every 13 weeks. When you think about it that way, unlike unrealistic New Years Resolutions, it’s not so overwhelming.
Most experts agree that when you repeat that habit over a thirteen week period, it becomes a habit for life. So, whether it’s expressing gratitude in a thank-you letter, flossing your teeth, drinking a green juice daily, writing in your journal, or practicing daily meditation, you will own that habit for life!
It could require, say, putting up post-it notes to remind yourself, do whatever it takes.
For instance, one habit all of us could benefit from is drinking more water. Did you know that dehydration can decrease your mental activity by 30%? That’s a lot! Strive to drink as close to ten 8-ounce glasses/per day for ultimate mental clarity.
Here are some healthy, new habit ideas to get you started:
1. Stock your fridge with organic fruits and vegetables to make healthy juices, smoothies, soups or just to eat by themselves.
2. Talk to old friends or a favorite family member once-a-week. When you’re feeling stressed out, people closest to you can have a big impact on your happiness.
3. Get in the habit of writing thank-yous. It could be for someone who recommended that great book to you, for someone who gave you a nice compliment recently or anyone that provided inspiration to you in some way.
4. Make time to be still. Even if it’s only for five minutes a day, it’s so important to banish all the chatter inside your head and all around you. You’ll come back feeling refreshed. It doesn’t matter when you do it. It can be first thing in the morning when you arise, last thing before turning in (a great way to help lull you off to sleep, by the way) or any time in between. Even if it means only having one minute to take 3, deep breaths, it will benefit you. Here’s a simple recipe:
- Take in a deep breath for a count of 7.
- Hold at the top for 7.
- Breathe out for 7.
- On the third repetition, inspire just a bit more to expand the lungs more fully.
- Let out that last breath with an audible ‘sigh’.
So, maybe it’s putting a post-it on your fridge or computer, limiting your efforts to changing only one habit at a time vs. changing all of them at once, partnering with someone once a week to help you stay on track and keep you accountable, or all of the above! You owe it to yourself throw off the emergency brake on bad habits and create healthy, new habits for life now!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -- Mark Twain