We’re nearing the end of Healthy Week, and I hope you’ve been enjoying it. I’m a big fan of making small, simple changes here and there – they seem to be less daunting and more manageable, and therefore easier to try out and stick to. Today is ‘break a bad habit’ day.
By ‘bad habit’ I mean any pattern of behaviour you’ve ended up in that’s not doing you any favours. That could be anything from biting your nails to giving yourself a hangover every morning. Deep down, you will know what your own worst habit is.
Now, it can take a while to truly break a bad habit, but there’s some evidence that if you can stick to this plan for 30 days then you’re most likely to succeed. So today, let’s just try Day 1 of this first 30 days on for size, and try to have 24 hours* without this bad habit.
You don’t need to commit to fully giving it up a this point, but see how you feel tomorrow if you’ve already had some success. Meanwhile, make a note about any cravings you might have during the day, and see how they come and go. Also write down any situations, locations or strong emotions that might be triggering you.
If you can today, try to become aware of the moments that lead up to the bad habit manifesting itself. The awareness in itself can be really helpful, and you might be able to use this awareness to your advantage. For example you could use this as an opportunity to:
- Try to relax, breathe or calm down
- Keep extra busy to take your mind off cravings
- Substitute a different, healthy behaviour
- Ping an elastic band on your wrist to put yourself off
*If you have a genuine addiction with possible physical withdrawal symptoms (alcohol, some tranquillisers, certain Class A drugs etc), use today to find the contact details of an organisation that can help you, rather than suddenly giving up.