Why should you care about your bad habits? “We are what we repeatedly do.” — Aristotle. Bad habits jeopardize your mental health from a broad perspective. Specifically, it may stand in the way of you accomplishing your goals. You may be wasting your time and your energy, or even hurt your physical health.
A Bad Habit You Have:
Maybe it’s continuing a toxic relationship, biting your nails, emotional eating, staying up late, sleeping in, smoking, drugs, etc. These bad habits don’t go away because we don’t pay as much attention to them as we should, and we don’t put in the effort to fix them either. It takes a lot of effort to fix, but most of us are willing to change!
13 Better Habits For A Better Life
1. plan out year, months, and weeks in advance
2. recite positive daily affirmations in the mirror
3. listen more than you speak
4. journal to keep your thoughts in order
5. have a morning and evening skin routine in place for accessibility
6. don’t do work on your bed, use a desk or an office area to put you in a working mindset
7. don’t worry about things you can’t control
8. don’t worry about something that hasn’t happened yet, you’re just living through it twice
9. buy a gym or yoga membership, you’ll be obliged to go to make your money worth while
10. do one thing now you’ve been putting off
11. spend an hour of learning – books, podcasts, online courses
12. declutter your wardrobe and “toss-drawer” in the mudroom
13. call your loved ones at least twice a week while you fold laundry or dust
Are you willing to change yourself? Yes, you are! That’s why you’re starting this 7-day process.
-Reena, Off White Mag
RECOGNIZE YOUR BAD HABIT
Don’t eliminate it, but replace it with something more beneficial to your body, your attitude, or whatever aspect of life you may be targeting. We replace a bad habit with a new one (a healthier one!) that provides a similar benefit. It’s challenging to change a pattern, and telling yourself to stop doing it is easier said than done.
Spend Day 1 to become aware of your bad habit, and your steps to replace it with something beneficial to you. Make a note of why this is considered a ‘bad habit’ to you, and why it’s harmful to your mind, body, or those around you. Write down your thoughts on why you are so motivated to start. Today as well, create a plan for when you are feeling uninspired.
> Find a substitute for your habit that will help you cope with your problems, whether it’s procrastination, stress, etc.
> Cut out anything that triggers you to go back to the habit. Avoid the things that cause it. If it’s eating junk food, throw it away, so you’re not tempted. Don’t shop on an empty stomach or on a day you’re not motivated.
> Surround yourself with people who inspire you to live like them- friends, YouTubers, influencers, etc.
> Join a friend for motivation. Dieting yourself on your own is very likely to slip up, but have a friend hold each other accountable.
> Have a visual of your life if you succeed and work towards it every day. Keep this in the front of your mind, place reminders all over your home of why you’re doing this, and take time to motivate yourself daily.
WRITE DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS OF MOTIVATION AS YOU’RE STILL FEELING MOTIVATED
These will help encourage you on the days when you’re feeling low. Also, jot down ideas or activities to keep yourself going when you make a mistake or feel like plunging back to the habit.
YOUR RUSH OF MOTIVATION MAY BE LEAVING NOW,
but fight through and find ways to encourage yourself. Remind yourself why this change is essential. Make an effort to spend time on an additional activity to energize yourself, or pass the time in place of the habit’s time. Most importantly, journal your thoughts and your feelings. Journaling brings clarity to a situation, and your emotions are real when you look at the words on the paper. You can thoroughly analyze them as well.
PLACE REMINDERS AROUND THE HOUSE TO REMIND YOU OF YOUR END GOAL
Place reminders around the house to remind you of your end goal
> fresh fruits on the kitchen countertop
> frame a photo of your dream vacation spot
> post stick-y notes on your mirror with reminders you’ll read every day
VISUALIZE YOURSELF LIVING WITHOUT THE BAD HABIT
Will it be a healthier body? Will you finish your work faster and have time for friends? Will it be money more in the bank to book a trip to Greece? Journal those ideas as well as your struggles if you are having any. Note the struggles your mind and body may be having due to the lack of this constant substance in life.
LOOK BACK AT THE OTHER DAYS,
and see how far you’ve come in the last few days. To most, it may be a long time! You may have been smoking daily. You may have been eating junk food daily instead of cooked meals. Analyze your thoughts on paper from today and the other days. Understand that change takes time. You’re almost seven days!
Just as your bad habit became part of you, you are now replacing it with a new habit. It will be hard, because the new may not be as fulfilling but one must try. Your ‘old’ was harmful to your mind, body, soul, or those around you, but it was a habit.
Replacing a habit is difficult, and to some, it may be like ripping out a part of their life.
Soon, though, by doing this repeated effort of 7 days, you will put in place a new pattern in life. Soon, it will become a new part of who you are.
SOME OF US MAY HAVE SLIPPED UP THIS WEEK
but that does not mean you didn’t make it to Day 7. If you slipped up, you made a note of it in your journal and wrote down how you felt after doing so. We would feel guilty because our subconscious self feels that way when we have planted a seed that this habit is bad. That is the most important thing you may have discovered this week – you planted a seed of instilling guilt, and noticed the change on day 7.
Take note of the frequency of your mistakes. It would be best if you accepted that it takes time to change. To make this new, beneficial habit a habit, it will take you 63 days. Dr. Caroline Leaf explains that it takes 21 days to create a memory. You know you have to do this daily and fight this regularly. In the first 7 days, many of us will slip up, but don’t give up! That’s why we do 3 cycles of 7 days since it takes 21 days to break a pattern of thinking and create a new memory. We continue those 21 days twice more to be sure we won’t fall back into our bad habit.
Choose to see the reason why you’re doing this. Even I slipped up a few times in the first two weeks, but I made it through. In the end, after 63 days, I’m an improved being. You have to be responsible for your commitment, but if I can do it, so can you.
You can’t just brush off your bad habits. We are aware that getting out of a situation you’ve become used to takes time and effort. But always be encouraged and empowered to make the change that lasts. For the better you!
Tip To Keep You Going:
DON’T FORGET YOUR ROUTINES
Life still continues! Don’t forget to take good care of your body as well.
Self-care is not only pampering nights and relaxing activities. Self-care involves all aspects of mental health, like conquering bad habits and becoming a better you. Every day you are growing in yourself, but it is your responsibility to grow as a happy, healthier person instead of growing more in-depth into your struggles. As an aspect of you improves, you don’t become a new you. You’re merely bettering yourself.
We all have our struggles, and no one is perfect. We may never be. But improving your situation, your thinking, and your ways of living, makes for a happier day.
One thing that helped me carry on with self improvement was to keep up with the rest of my selfcare routines — skincare, baking weekly, workouts, journaling, and pampering nights.