Jan 10, 2013

how to kick bad habits to the curb in 2013 - guest post by Kay

It's the new year, and that means it's resolution time. Do you want to lose weight? Quit smoking? Start exercising more? You've probably tried to do these things in the past but, unfortunately, were not successful. It can be very difficult to break a habit or to start a new one.

Whether you want to stop eating junk food, stop smoking, stop drinking, or stop NOT exercising, here's how you can kick that bad habit in 2013 and start making healthier choices:
Announce Your Goal
The first thing you can do to help you achieve your goal is to announce it in some way. Tell friends about your plan. Share it with family. Even just write it down. If you talk about it to others or write it down, it makes the plan more "real" and helps you to take action. Plus, when you tell friends and family, they will surely follow up to ask you how it's going, providing some measure of accountability.

Get to the Root of the Problem
Maybe you smoke now because you're addicted. Or you eat a lot of junk food because it has become a habit. But why did these habits start? Do you smoke because you feel anxious or stressed out? Do you eat when you're bored or upset? Understanding why you engage in your bad habit can help you to break it. You can address the emotional or situational issues and find healthy solutions.

Choose a Healthy Replacement
You don't have to go cold turkey to kick a habit necessarily. If you really love junk food, you can eat healthier versions of some of your favorite foods, such as cakes and cookies made with natural sweeteners or pizza made with whole wheat crust and low-cal cheese. If you smoke, you can switch to an electronic cigarette to get the same feel of smoking without the harmful side effects. Figure out ways that you can make healthy substitutions, and you can make giving up the habit a little easier.

Avoid Triggers
There are many triggers that might cause you to want to indulge in your bad habit. For example, many smokers say they feel a strong urge to smoke when they are hanging out with friends or when they go to a bar and are drinking. Maybe you always want to reach for a bag of chips when you are sitting on the couch and watching TV.

Once you identify what your triggers are, find ways to avoid them. This doesn't have to mean never watching TV again, for example. But instead, maybe you can change other aspects of your TV watching, such as sitting in a different chair or watching in another room. By changing the situation, you can change your reaction to it.

You don't have to keep repeating the cycle in 2013. You can break the bad habits you want to be free of and replace them with healthier habits and lifestyle choices instead. Follow these simple tips to get you started and to make this the year that you finally break the cycle for good.

What bad habits do you want to break this year? Share your resolutions in the comments!

Kay Winders is presently the resident writer for badcreditloans.org, where she researches the best way for people to pay off their debts without damaging their credit. In her spare time, she enjoys freelance writing, the beach and gardening.

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