5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 4)

9 January 2013

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health and overall wellbeing – helpful advice that may also initiate a sense of self-renewal and give you more energy, which in turn will give you a whole new outlook on life.

To review part 1, click on: Go on a cleanse or detox diet.

To review part 2, click on: Improve your dietary choices

To review part 3, click on: Find a daily activity that insures you’re getting enough exercise.

Here’s part 4…

4. Pick one habit or trait that is detrimental to your health and eliminate it.

Bad habits often have a huge effect on your life and what makes these habits so challenging and hard to change is the reality that they usually aren’t based on well thought out choices and decisions, so using logic to eliminate them is oftentimes unproductive. Think about it; for instance, everyone who smokes cigarettes knows without a doubt they are bad for them, but that knowledge doesn’t help them much when the try to quit. They require a bit of strategy to overcome.

Try these strategic tips to help get you rid yourself of these habits and get your life and health back on track:

Replace a bad habit, rather than simply trying to drop it. You must have felt some benefit to the habit or you wouldn’t have allowed it to become a part of your life. Consider substituting something positive as a replacement for that which was given up. Examples: When craving a cigarette, sit down and breathe slowly and deeply, visualize yourself inhaling smoke rather than clean air, you’ll be amazed at how effective that can be. If you are in the habit of being a couch-potato after dinner, instead of plopping down in front of the TV, take the dog for a walk or find some other semi-pleasurable chore to engage. Use your imagination, you’re bound to come up with some sort of practical substitution.

Don’t take on too many things at once; deal with one challenge at a time. Perhaps you’ve decided you want to quit smoking, improve your diet and start an exercise program…all that would be overwhelming and you’d probably cave on all three. Pick just one; give yourself a month or so. Then, once you have a handle on that, add another one and give that a month.

Have patience with yourself; don’t be in such a hurry. Think how happy you’d be if you could get rid of your four worst habits. By dealing with one habit at a time as recommended above, that’s only four months, which is a relatively short time if you consider how long you’ve had each habit.

Learn to recognize the triggers that prompt bad cravings and/or your addictive tendencies and remove them. If your intention is to improve your diet, get rid of all the junk food in your house and go to the bathroom or simply walk away when those tempting TV commercials come on. Most habits don’t have a much of thought behind them, they’re a lot like reflexes without sensory stimulation they have little power.

Tell any friends who may be sympathetic and supportive. These friends can help you reach your goal by reminding you should you stray from your purpose.

If you’re going to start a regular exercising regime, be consistent; schedule yourself so that you do it at the same time each day. Many find this to be much easier than trying to exercise 3 or 4 times a week.

Stay motivated, keep reminding yourself that there’s no better feeling than knowing you have control over your life. Your self-esteem will soar as you realize you’re a victor and no longer a victim of your bad habits.


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