Beating Bad Habits
Jessi Haggerty, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, and Movement Instructor in Boston, MA recently asked me to guest blog about Beating Bad Habits on her website, whatwillyoubee.com …and of course, stay tuned for more helpful ideas, insights, and encouragement right here at Inspired Life Coaching!
Trade Those Bad Habits in for Healthy, Productive Ones!
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Board Certified Life Coach. I work with clients of all ages, ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender. Across the board, a common complaint among those in their 20′s and 30′s is a feeling of being left behind by their peers. Most enter adulthood with a road map of life goals and developmental milestones they expect to achieve. When they notice their peers speeding ahead of them, they feel lost in the dust, discouraged, and confused. What they forgot to consider from the get-go were the unpredictable and unforeseen circumstances life inevitably presents, and the accumulation of BAD HABITS. If you’re wondering how you got to the place where you are and why you haven’t gotten further, ask yourself these questions and answer them whole heartedly.
1. Where did I expect to be by now?
2. How does that differ from my current reality?
3. What would my life look like if it were more balanced?
4. What am I holding onto that is holding me back?
5. What gives me energy?
6. How do I get in my own way?
7. What does my ideal life look like?
8. How are the choices I’m making today getting me closer to my goals?
9. What skills or strengths do I wish to use more fully?
10. What three things can I do this week to move toward the future I want?
Often times, the bad habits that get in our way are fueled by an impulsive desire for immediate gratification, and a lack of focus. It can be easy to fall into the trap of overconsumption of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, socialization, and a lack of regular exercise and adequate sleep. These bad habits can have a negative effect on all areas of our lives. Consider the impact a bad habit can have on intimacy, health, spirituality, career, and family.
In order to begin the process of dumping the bad habits and embracing a more authentic and fulfilled you, begin a journal of your daily activities. Keep a log of what you’ve eaten, whether or not you’ve exercised, and if you’ve gotten adequate sleep. Where, with whom, and how have you spent your time? This will help you become more mindfully aware of your behaviors and allow you to act with intention. Is your goal to improve your career, build your social network, or meet a potential mate? Ask yourself, “How is this bad habit serving my personal goals?”. Allow time to reflect on your day and be thankful for at least one thing that’s happened today.
Keep a clear vision of the future you want, think positively, and act mindfully. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has evidenced that simply acknowledging the positives in your life can improve your thinking, feelings, and behavior. Be ready for change. Take charge of your life and your actions! Commit to one activity or behavior today that will move you forward and away from those BAD HABITS.
Bad habits won’t just go away. Each time you catch yourself tempted to engage in one, ask yourself what is motivating you. Is it anger, hunger, boredom, or exhaustion? Substitute that bad habit with a new healthier behavior. Do something different. The more often you replace a bad habit with a new and improved one, the easier it will be to drop it permanently and actualize your best intentions!
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