Sticky Habits—What To Embrace And What To Avoid
We all have habits that in one way or another define us. Maybe it is your obsession with getting the sink clean after doing the dishes or your daily 30-minute workout. Whatever it is, habits have the power to define us whether positively or negatively.
One important thing to understand about habits is that they can be long term or transient. Some just happen to stick more than others. Below are six of these habits along with tips on how to weed out the negative ones and enhance the good ones, allowing you to work toward the best possible version of yourself in 2020.
Sticky Habits: The good, the bad and the ugly
- Money management: How you spend your money is an important habit whether positive or negative. On the extremes, you have senseless extravagance and frugality. While senseless extravagance can lead to money issues and having more than you need, frugality can deprive you. In essence, neither is supporting you–no matter which end of the extreme you fall. Rather, the sweet spot comes with moderation, striking a balance between enjoying the fruits of your labor and thinking about the future.
- Diet: Eating habits we all know how important eating habits are and they are a large factor that determines the state of our health. With that, they are some of the stickiest due to heavy neurochemical influence. What you eat has an effect on neurotransmitters produced in your brain. This, therefore, affects your perception and appreciation of the food. For the most part, unhealthy foods have the biggest effect on the brain. A variety of research has been conducted to demonstrate the addictive effects of processed and fried foods. Many of the findings support the habitual nature of negative diet patterns and their long term effects.
- Physical lifestyle: Whether you are a gym bug or a couch potato, physical activity is an important habitual pattern that tends to stick. With an active lifestyle, it is the reward of seeing results and feeling the effects of endorphins that will keep you coming for more. On the other hand, doing absolutely nothing can be just as addictive.
- Environmental consciousness: Our environment, its where we live so we better care for it. This thought alone makes environmentally responsible practices very sticky. After all, it’s rewarding to help care for the planet. It feels great knowing that in one way or another you are helping to improve the environment. And, this assurance makes it a habit that is highly likely to persist.
- Time usage: Time, we all have the same amount of it each day and it’s yours to choose how you use it. Once in the habit, it’s easy to waste. And, this habit is known to linger and follow you wherever you go. It manifests itself in many different ways including perpetual lateness and procrastination. Fear not, we have methods to kick this nasty habit.
- Screen time: We live in a day and age where pretty much everything we need can be found behind a screen. From TV entertainment to smartphone services, we spend more time now than ever before staring at screens. While screen time can’t be avoided, it should be limited, there is much more to enjoy in this life than TV, video games, social media, and work.
How to make good habits stick
It often takes a little practice to develop good habits. However, once established, they are easy to maintain. Here are a few tips for creating quality habits that will help enhance your life and health.
- Start out small and work your way up to bigger goals.
- Be specific about what you would like to achieve.
- Celebrate and appreciate the small victories.
- Find a way to be accountable, even if it means reporting to someone else.
- Reward yourself for your achievements whenever you reach a goal.
- Surround yourself with people on the same path.
How to break free from bad habits
Forbidden fruits taste the sweetest and this is really the best way to explain why bad habits are often difficult to break. The good news is that there are many techniques you can utilize to free yourself from them and replace them with habits that serve you.
- Take time to understand the negative effects of the bad habit.
- Be willing to make the change for yourself above all else.
- Find healthy alternatives to unhealthy habits that made you happy.
- Identify and avoid your triggers.
- Be kind to yourself and continue even when you fall off the wagon.
Time and daily action– it’s what we call living the #NewEarthLife
Habits, good or bad they are not the easiest to beak, but with time and daily action, you can turn any negative habit into a positive one that serves you. It’s part of what we call living the #NewEarthLife.