Did you know it takes 21 days to form a habit? Well, it takes a lot longer to break them.
It’s the New Year, and you’re ready to start finding that new you. There are some obstacles in your way, however, and you’re going to have to hurdle over them to make it to the finish line.
Those pesky bad habits you can’t seem to break.
With the start of 2016 everyone is getting ready to make some changes in their lives, but it’s not the easiest thing to do. More than half of people who make New Year’s Resolutions never end up following through. Or, they take a break and restart, but never truly finish it either time.
When you’re making a goal for yourself that involves your health and fitness, that’s not something you want to do halfway. You need to break those bad habits and replace them with good ones. Our whole program is designed around teaching people the importance of a healthy lifestyle so that they don’t continue to make the same mistakes for the rest of their lives.
Set a Goal
A lot of people fail at getting rid of their bad habits because they think they can just quit cold turkey. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to stop smoking, quit snacking on cookies at 3 in the morning, or attempting to keep yourself from spending hours looking at cat videos online, you can’t just stop. You need to set a goal on how you’re going to stop and ease yourself out of it.
A great way to do this is to figure out something to replace those bad habits with. When you have something else to focus on during those moments of potential weakness, suddenly you find it a lot easier to ignore the urges. Eventually these good habits will be the things you turn to automatically.
For example, if your habit is something along the lines of excessive cat videos, then maybe whenever you feel yourself getting pulled towards your computer you can go for a walk or jog. Or instead of cookies for a midnight snack, find some healthy nut-and-fruit combo to eat!
The thing is, you can’t just ignore the bad habit. Trying to suppress something can actually make it harder to ignore or will make it come back at you harder! That’s why you need to recognize the habits and when they’re popping up so you can work harder to find a replacement habit.
Whatever it is you need to do, find a way to take that bad habit and replace it with something positive that will help you lose weight and get fit.
Look at Your Company
We talked about this on a previous post about New Year’s Resolutions, but let’s reiterate here. It is so hard to start your fitness journey alone, in fact we really don’t recommend it.
You should always surround yourself with two kinds of people: the ones that will go on this journey with you and are as motivates as you are to change, and people that encompass what you want to become. When the people in your life reflect what you want to be you’ll find it’s a lot easier to accomplish your goals.
Make sure your friends are ones that call you to ask why you haven’t been to boot camp in a few days. Let your family know that you need positive energy going forward or else you’ll have a harder time on your journey. Don’t keep negative people around, it will just hurt you.
This one may seem obvious, but it’s a very important factor in your success going forward here. Listen, you’re going to slip up. It takes a while to break a habit, and you’re going to have small moments of weakness.
The important thing here is that you don’t focus on these slip-ups. You need to recognize the mistake you’ve made, figure out how you are going to avoid doing it again, and keep going. Make yourself a deal that in the first week you’ll allow yourself five slip ups and then reduce the amount from there.
If you can visualize yourself in the future then you can accomplish your goal of breaking these bad habits you’re holding on to. Imagine yourself walking away from the unhealthy food and going into some squats instead. It’s as easy as imagining it and keeping a positive attitude.
Besides, remember how we said you need to surround yourself with positive influences? That includes you! Being negative won’t help you accomplish your goals. It will make you stressed, and most likely the reason you fall back on these bad habits is because you use them to cope with less than ideal situations.
Get Rid of Triggers
Speaking of, you need to figure out what it is that keeps pushing you back to that bad thing you can’t escape. Do you have a hard time sleeping through the night so you turn to comfort food because you’re bored and tired? Do you find yourself sitting on the couch for long periods of time because the idea of that job interview makes you stressed and you need a good laugh from these cat videos?
If you can identify what it is that’s causing you stress then you can work towards eliminating those things from your life. Insomnia is something you should speak to a doctor about; for example, as they could help you with a sleep schedule that won’t push you back to the pantry in the middle of the night.
Find the source of stress in your life and target it. Remove it from your daily activities, and bring as much positivity as you can into your day. If you can do that then replacing those bad habits with the good ones will be much easier to accomplish.