We all have habits and some of these habits are bad ones, kicking a bad habit and turning it into a more positive one is hard but is well worth the effort if you put your mind to succeeding. Our habits can determine our life to an extent and affect the way we feel and think, bad habits affect our self-esteem and lead to negativity while good habits lead to a feeling of achievement, accomplishment and positive thinking. So what is the key to successfully breaking our bad habits and replacing them with ones that are more positive? Listed below are some helpful techniques that you can put to use to change your bad habits into more positive ones.
Make a list
Make a list of all the reasons why you want to stop your habit, really give it some thought and list as many reasons as possible for giving up. For example if smoking is your habit and you wish to give up then you could put down things like its costs me x amount of money every year, it makes my clothes, hair and breath smell, it makes the whole house smell. By listing as many reasons as you can as to why you want to give up it will allow you to see in black and white what it is that you don’t like about your habit and why you should give it up.
Ask yourself what it is that you are getting out of your habit, are you really getting what you want from it? Do you really enjoy it? Or is the habit exactly that, just a habit that you have done for so long that you would feel uncomfortable without doing it?
List positive things you could swap your habit for
Stop and think what you could do to replace your habit that would be more positive, for example you could take up a hobby, workout, read, go for a walk, do chores around the home or take up an adult education class. All of these can help you to take your mind off and break your habit.
Visualize how you would feel and the changes there would be if you broke your habit, for example if you are a smoker and wish to quit then picture the differences it would make if you did quit and replaced smoking with say working out. Picture yourself being able to breathe easier, your taste buds improving, your clothes, hair and home smelling fresher and cleaner and what you could buy from the money you saved.
Take one day at a time
Always take one day at a time when trying to break a habit, never look into the future and start to think how will I cope in certain situations. Choose a day to give up your habit and stick with it no matter what comes up, keeping a journal can also help you to deal with kicking your habits and is helpful to get your thoughts and feelings out at the most frustrating times.
Turning Change into Choice!
Change is something that happens in our lives naturally, whether we like it or not. Day turns into night. We grow older, as do our children. We buy houses, change homes, lifestyles, jobs and more.
Some of us don’t handle change as well as others. You see others happy to be changing careers, relationships or moving to another home. You wonder why they are so happy. What is it that so exciting about change? And why do you only fear change?
Unfortunately, fear can be a paralyzing emotion and feeling. It can make us afraid to do anything and we simply stand still. The biggest fear of all humans is the fear of the unknown. When we can’t predict the outcome, we usually become afraid. Most of the time, with any type of change we can’t predict the outcome. That can be scary. However, one of the things in life that will definitely happen is change.
How to Handle ‘Change’ Better
But fear not! There is a better way to handle change so that it’s not so scary. In fact the reality is, change is not so much about handling something new and different as it is about making the new and different things a choice – your choice, owning them as your own. And the best way to conquer your fear of these new things or changes is by taking control, having a positive mindset and taking charge in a manner that says it is your choice to change. Make this a conscious decision – take ownership of the facts.
Planning for Change
Let’s say you need to make a career change. Plan out everything. How many interviews will you do a day? How will you obtain those interviews? Will you be switching to a different career or stay in the same type of career? What do you want to do? Where do you see yourself in six months?
Answer these questions in a notebook or journal. Outline what you plan on doing. Now most of the unknown is known! You have chosen to take ownership of your change and you hold the controls.
Don’t stop there, not even after you make your career change. Set long term and short term goals for yourself. The best way to conquer a fear is to face it and do it often. If you do this on a regular basis, you will soon wonder what made you so nervous. Make change your choice! And get help regularly from the pros by checking out library and online books, audio recording, videos and other helpful information focused on motivation and inspiration to learn more about how successful people have accepted and taken charge of the changes in their lives.
Improving your emotional well-being
There are many things in life that can affect our emotional well-being and our emotional well-being is one of the most important aspects when it comes to being healthy. In order to be truly healthy it is essential to have stable and healthy emotions. If your emotions are not stable then your whole body will be affected and this will lead to a decline in health and overall well-being.
If you follow the holistic belief of health then this dictates that along with healthy eating, exercise and dieting we have to take care of our mental health as well. It is only when body and mind are fit and healthy can we gain true overall health. Emotional well-being, physical well-being, intellectual and social well-being all come together and if any of these are affected it will affect our health. There are many factors that can affect these, including problems in relationships, unemployment, money problems, social problems and physical problems to name but just a few. Improving your emotional well-being depends on altering aspects of your life that affect it.
Stress is the biggest enemy that can change our emotions and feelings so it is imperative that you remove as much stress from your daily life as possible, you should learn new techniques to banish stress quickly and effortlessly without allowing it to build up. There are many techniques you can choose to combat stress, from practicing yoga and meditation to simple breathing exercises and affirmations, the key is to find the method that works the best for you.
Negative thinking is another downfall many of us acquire throughout our lives and this can cause many problems with emotional well-being, always thinking the worse or continually putting yourself down will lead to low self-confidence and low self-esteem. Affirmations or positive self-talk is an excellent way to help you deal with negative thoughts and feelings. Changing the way you think will change the way you feel and when you feel better about your life and yourself you will have a different outlook on life which will lead to a healthier you.
Situations that occur in your daily life can change your emotional well-being and while we often cannot change situations, we can change how we deal with them, how they affect our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Feelings of anger, sadness and uncertainty all cause problems with out emotional well-being and ultimately our overall health, the trick is to not hold your feelings inside but let them out. Harboring anger, resentment or sadness for long periods of time can be devastating for our emotional well-being. Keeping a journal to write about your thoughts and feelings can help as can having someone to talk to; the main point is getting your feelings out.
Key points to improving your emotional well-being are
- Learning how to relax and let go of stress
- Eating a sensible diet and exercising on a regular basis
- Get a good nights sleep every night
- Deal with problems as they arise
- Give yourself a break and stop putting yourself down
- Don’t let things build up, get thoughts and feelings out
- Do something everyday that you enjoy doing
7 Simple Steps to Stop Procrastinating
Are you a victim of laziness, a root cause of procrastination? Do you often suffer because of what you initially considered as easy has turned difficult with the loss of time, and what appeared hard, due to further delay, has become impossible now? You may draw comfort from the fact that you are in the company of many that are affected by procrastination. But you must realize that you will experience true comfort, if you get rid of your laziness by shaking yourself up into action. Like many others, you can indeed stop procrastinating and start meeting deadlines, by following a few simple steps that teach you effective time management.
- Plan your daily must-do activities. Draw up a to-do list; preferably, write it down on paper; or, use a computer if you prefer.
- Prioritize the activities, the more important ones taking precedence over the less important. If there are urgent things to do, but not important enough to be worried about if not done, put them below the important ones. The idea is based on the established principle that 80% of rewards accrue from 20% of effort directed towards accomplishing important work.
- Estimate the time required for each of the listed activities after analyzing their complexity. Avoid underestimation, as you may not have enough time to do well a particular of piece of work. Similarly, avoid overestimation, for that may leave some activities without enough time. A realistic budgeting of time is a must. Time allocation is a skill that is acquired with experience. So keep reviewing and revising your time schedule as you progress.
- Organize your life. That will help you avoid wasting your precious time and leave more time for the actual work. Remember indiscipline causes confusion, even chaos, in life. It eats into your time. Avoid sloppiness. For instance, leave your personal belongings of daily use, like your glasses, your clothing, your computer etc., in the same place. If you do, you won’t need to spend time looking for them all over the place. Apply the principle of doing work first and then taking time for pleasure and relaxation. Reverse the order only at the pain of falling prey to procrastination. You can get time for rest and relaxation if you are efficient in doing your assigned work.
- Start working bit by bit. You may see a mountain at first, but mountains can be moved, especially if you begin by moving just a small stone from it. You know you cannot move the entire mountain all at once. Do not be overwhelmed by the immensity of the task before you. That will put you off. And you will put off the task for another day, which will never come. Just begin by taking one small step and you will invariably reach your destination.
- Put first things first early in the day. Remember procrastination grows into a habit by the minute. Begin your day by launching yourself head first into the most important job waiting to be done.
- Learn to cope with anxiety, depression, stress and other similar conditions of the mind related to your problems in life. Keep yourself fit, not just physically but mentally as well. Learn and practice suitable mental relaxation techniques such as meditation.
New Year’s Resolutions You can Keep
Do you know most people who make resolutions on the eve of a new year break them within the first three or four months? Do you know why? If you do, you won’t make impractical resolutions. If you don’t, you might ask what resolutions you will be able to keep or how to make only those resolutions that will really work for a long time.
The answer is simple. Be realistic, not idealistic, in making your resolutions. If your goals are set too high to reach, you are bound to give up your attempt half way through rather than to stick to your resolution.
Anyone can make a halfhearted resolution for the New Year. What is difficult and requires commitment is to actually keep it. In order to overcome the hurdles and sustain your resolutions you need to do a little bit of brainstorming. Think about all the possible restrictions that the New Year’s resolutions will impose on you. Think about all the changes that you must make to have successful resolutions. If you want to completely stop smoking, think of the various steps you will take for resisting the temptation either when you are alone or when in company. Ask yourself whether you will enforce self discipline in order to reduce the habit gradually in stages and to reach the final goal set as per the time frame you chalked out for yourself. Monitor your progress periodically and devise corrective measures wherever necessary. That way you can keep a tab on yourself to follow the resolutions you have made.
Get others involved
Another way to keep your resolutions is to tell your family and friend about them and to seek their active help and support. You should never depend on your own plan, but seek the support of others. You may have all the discipline and motivation in the world, but you will receive unmatched support from loved ones when you are trying hard to do something. This external encouragement will help support and reinforce your own efforts.
Don’t get disheartened if you deviate a little from your chosen path occasionally. Don’t let any of your minor slips and setbacks fill you with a guilt feeling severe enough to make you drop your resolutions. Even if that happens, start all over again more vigorously, this time with a better action plan and follow up program than before.
See if you can make and keep at least some of the following New Year’s Resolutions:
- Focus on health by eating a substantial breakfast that includes fruits and vegetables; by sticking to fixed meal times; by drinking beverages like fruit juice or milk; by drinking plenty of water; by following a simple fitness program like walking; by doing yoga and meditation or participating in outdoor games and sports and so on.
- Kick your addiction to tobacco, caffeine, food, drink, pornography and so on.
- Devote time to be with your family every day or every week.
- Learn something new as a hobby or for interest;
- Widen your mental horizon by reading, doing crosswords or picking up a sodoku puzzle.
These are just some examples of the most popular resolutions that you might be considering. Feel free to make your resolution as intricate or simple as you wish and tailor fit it to meet your needs.
Don’t Let Addictions Control Your Life
First of all, have you even realized you need to break free from your addictions? If not, now is the time to make a conscious decision about regaining control over yourself by really trying to kick your harmful habit NOW. You can’t wait forever for an opportune moment, because it will never come if you don’t want it. Once you decide to quit, make your decision public. Tell your family, your friends and everybody and anybody interested in your well being about it. By doing so, you are making it rather difficult to back out. You are perhaps also indirectly indicating to all of them that you are seeking their support for your decision. Actually, it is important to openly enlist their help and co-operation to help kick your bad habit.
Avoid getting into situations full of temptations. No matter how strong you are, the temptation will be overwhelming. When you are trying to give up smoking, for instance, hanging out with your chain smoker friends will do you no good. Don’t accept invitations to party, when you know you will be subjected to peer or situational pressure to take the very things you are trying never to use. If you do, you will never come out of your compulsive weakness for a particular drug, drink or smoke or some habit you have decided to kick.
You may need professional help
If you are a long-term slave to alcohol or drugs or tobacco or pornography or any of the several other equally harmful substances or things, you may need professional help in addition to the support from your family and friends. After an in-depth look at your case, specialists will chalk out a program for you to follow under their supervision over a specified period of time. Several support groups may join in. Following the rehabilitation program is key to getting yourself back on track. Ultimately, your own will is the only thing that can get rid of the addiction for good.
People under some stress or tension wrongly believe that they can calm themselves and feel relaxed if they use tobacco or alcohol or drugs. They first try to drown their sorrows in addictive substances and habits injurious to health, but end up drowned in their addictions. If only you realize the futility of seeking relief from your grief in addictions, you will never put yourself under the risk of damaging your health and losing your wealth as well as destroying whatever happiness you have had so far. There are better ways to confront and conquer your problems than giving in to addiction.
Outlets for addiction
Learn to relax and rebuild your physical and mental reserves by doing regular physical exercise, yoga, meditation or taking to hobbies by exploiting your creative interests. Instead of attempting to escape from reality through the door that addictions seem to open for you, learn to adopt a positive attitude and face the inevitable and overcome the consequences with courage.
YOU are in control
Remember there are few quick-fix solutions to life’s problems. Likewise, there are no easy ways to overcome your addictions. Only concerted efforts on your part will help you in the end. Take control of yourself by training your mind to face life’s tough challenges.