Humans are habitual people, and because of this it is sometimes hard and overwhelming to your journey of success to conquer unwanted habits. Some want to stop biting their nails, stop using tobacco, drinking fewer sugary drinks, or cutting back on ice cream every night. These habits can give us comfort, and we can seek that known comfort without even consciously thinking about it.
Changing any habit is hard work, especially if it is an addictive one. My husband wanted to stop using tobacco. He had used for over 35 years and wanted to stop because aging healthfully is important to him. He had tried many times to stop and had been successful for a few weeks at a time.
Many of us have experienced the extreme hardship that comes in making changes. That is why I want to brag on his strong determination, grit, and perseverance to try and try again. He has been tobacco and nicotine free now for over 1-1/2 years!
Here are a few ideas that might assist someone on their journey
- Be focused with your thinking and clear on your “why”. Understand the reason you want to stop and let that drive your actions.
- Example-You want to stop so you can remain healthy and active as you age.
- Identify your triggers. Recognize what your body does or craves.
- Example-You feel stress or anxious or it is late at night and your stomach growls.
- Create a support system. Recruit some friends to call upon for support.
- Example-Instead of acting on your impulse, call a friend to check in with.
- Replace the unwanted habit with a different one.
- Example-Replace with gum, vegetables, a fidget to play with, take a walk.
- Create milestones that move you in the direction you want to go
- Example-My husband gave up tobacco at home first which was a 50% reduction in usage. He then created other milestones to conquer.
- Prepare yourself for the journey and slip ups. When things don’t go as planned, know you can try again.
- Example-Starting over means you have not lost hope; you are determined to rise up and be resilient
In the end, your mindset plays a major role in your journey of success to conquer unwanted habits. Let go of the “all or nothing” thinking and be mindful about your purpose and why. It is a blessing that you get a fresh start every morning!