Avoiding Bad Habits

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Habits can be difficult to break. Routines become harder to change once they are ingrained in our minds and lives. Now that is fine if your habit is a healthy diet, exercise program or quality sleep routine; but when your habit is snacking on candy or lounging on the couch instead of exercising then it might be time to shake up your routine. Learn more about how to break the bad habits and build good ones.

  • It takes repetition to create or break a habit - 21 days some experts say but there really is no set timeline, everyone is different. For example, a new workout routine takes both time and consistency to become a normal part of our routine. Missing a workout does not mean that you have failed! Just be sure to not let small setbacks derail you from staying consistent.

  • Mental activity decreases with the formation of habit, in other words, it becomes automatic and does not require any thought. While you are performing this habit, you are not consciously thinking about what you are doing.

  • It is easier to create a habit than to break one. Once the neural pathways to the brain have created new information, they remain for years. That's why is it easy to relapse into old behaviours even after a lot of time has passed. This fact holds positive potential though as we create new habits. It is easier to create new positive ones than try to break old negative behaviours - so rather than trying to STOP doing something negative, work on STARTING to do the opposite positive behaviour.

  • Some of your habits might stem from a related or an unrelated desire. Examine your daily routine to see if you can notice any patterns (ie. midday cravings due to not eating regular meals earlier in the day which can create blood sugar imbalances; or craving that snack simply because you need a mental break).

Statistics from Duke University estimate that habit - as opposed to conscious decision making - shapes up to 45% of the daily choices that we make. That is a HUGE percentage! The creation of healthy habits means whether we live a healthy lifestyle since our lifestyle is the sum of our habits which is the sum of our choices.

Categories: Personal Development

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