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How To Dump Bad Habits

Dumping bad habits can be a challenging but a life changing, rewarding process. There are however some well proven pathways you can take advantage of. For example, if you're trying to quit smoking, consider taking up a new hobby or engaging in physical activity when you feel the urge to smoke.

The first step always as this varies from person to person to clearly define the unhealthy habit you want to change. Be specific about when, where, and why you are committed to change. Instead of just eliminating a habit, consider replacement with a healthier alternative. To ensure meaningful progress and lasting change, all of this should remain highly personal. If you share with others outside of your professional care, it should be in a small private circle, not in a social media arena or group. I recommend handwriting in a small notebook you can carry around with you as the best way to accomplish this. Once you identify what the habit is, how do you think you would best eliminate it? First some habits, cold turkey still works the best. For others though breaking down your overall goal into smaller, achievable steps may in fact the best for you. For example, diet is a big one. This is why I commonly recommend patients track what they know they need to do and set a plan out in writing to make one change at a time. This makes the process more manageable and helps you stay motivated. When you are not sure what to do or what would be best to do first, this is the time to schedule a sit down with us so we can help you through the process. Another huge one right now is excess screen time especially on cell phones. For me, what has worked the best is simply leaving my phone in another room. With emergency messages I simply get a notifications on my watch which makes this so much simpler. Often, modifying our surroundings makes it easier to break habits. This is particularly true concerning alcohol, smoking and food, which often takes place outside of the home. Removing triggers and creating a space that supports your new, healthier behavior goes a long way to ensuring it remains permanent.

Remember everything results from making that initial decision. Be patient with yourself and stay persistent. Learn from any setbacks and use them as opportunities to adjust your approach. If breaking a habit proves particularly challenging, especially if it involves substances consider seeking support from a Physician, therapist, or counselor. Being Lifestyle Medicine trained, this is one of the major ways we help our practice members everyday.

Remember, your journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. In our practice we have both Physician and professional counseling and guidance available.


How To Dump Bad Habits
How To Dump Bad Habits

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