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Friday, January 30, 2009

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Choose Your Habits, Choose Your Life - 5 Secrets For Breaking Your Bad Habits

Choose Your Habits, Choose Your Life - 5 Secrets For Breaking Your Bad Habits
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

By nature, we are all creatures of habit. We instinctively adopt familiar routines for most activities. We eat about the same number of meals each day - at more or less the same times. We have a regular pattern of sleeping - unless it is perturbed by illness or shift work. Most everything we do is habitual.

You probably eat three meals each day, but why? Why not two or five? There is nothing particularly "natural" about our pattern of eating three meals each day - it is just a habit that we share with most of those around us. Actually, a number of studies indicate that eating five smaller meals is more satisfying and healthier than eating three large ones.

You will always have habits - things you do regularly and without conscious thought - but you do have the ability to CHOOSE your habits. Here's how...

1. Begin to pay attention to WHAT you do, WHEN you do it, and WHY you do it. One of the bad habits I fell into was eating a large dish of ice cream in the late evening. Obviously, "ice cream" was the "what," but the "when" was more than just "in the evening." "When" was times I felt stressed, hadn't had a satisfying dinner, or was bored. "Why" was mouth sensation, having something to do with my hands, and sometimes hunger.

2. Keep a journal of the "what", "when," and "why." Make an entry whenever you find yourself doing something that isn't really your choice. You will find that you gain better insight into the "when's" and "why's" as you get more entries in your journal. Soon a pattern will emerge that can enable you to find healthy habits to replace the harmful ones.

3. Look for other activities that would satisfy the "when" and "why." A hot bath for stress, hard candy for mouth sensation, a good book for activity, a warm bowl of soup for real hunger.

4. Make the undesirable activity difficult. Don't keep the cigarettes or ice cream in the house. When ice cream was in my own freezer, it was hard to resist, but when eating a dish of super chocolate chunk required a trip to the convenience store, it was much easier to turn my attention to other activities and a low calorie snack - if any snack at all.

5. Begin new habits not only because you need them to replace unhealthy ones, but also because they are the things you always wanted to do, but couldn't find the time or money. That book club or yoga class makes a great substitute for the eating or smoking, and you can more than pay for your health club membership with what you save on cigarettes.

17 comments:

Claudia AKA Breaking Habits Girl said...

In my experience the best way to breaking habis is to change your mindset. Preferably as stress free as possible!

I did it will playing the same message again over and over till my brain finally got the message. After that it was easy.

liisa said...

DEAR JONATHAN,
THANK YOU AGAIN. YOU HAVE THE WAY TO PUT INTO CLEAR WORDS THINGS THAT WE PROBABLY KNOW BUT CAN'T CLAIM TO HAVE SEEN BEFORE YOU WROTE IT. NOW WE HAVE NO EXCUSES.

LIISA

Anonymous said...

Dear Jonathan,

I love this one! It can apply to much for many.
Thank You.

Rhonda

Sheereen said...

Dear Jonathan,

this lesson was a great one,we ALL have bad habits that we can put to rest but find SO much difficulty in doing so. This helped me, thank you very much. :)

Karen said...

Dear Jonathan,
I've been battling a real bad habit called SMOKING! For three years off and on I have quit. I have to make it final. This lesson was very helpful. Now I just have to figure out what to replace this NASTY habit with. Thank you....

Anonymous said...

so true so true

Anonymous said...

karen, i just recently quit. second time trying in a 32 year habit and i am successful. victory is now 14 weeks old and to replace the nasty, i increased my visits to the gym and added a personal trainer to whip me back into shape. i wasn't ready mentally to quit before. it took Jesus Christ to aid me this time. God bless and keep up the fight.

Anonymous said...

i believe that the more we realize that any negative habit starts in a negligene toward our spirit; we forget we are dual beings and whatever attacks the soul will come thru in sme pysical detriment and vice versa. the more i understand doctrine, the more my behaviors are better understood & altered.

John said...

I have one bad habit is...when I put milk on gas I forget it and always losses half!!It is not big matter to worry But once my husband is angry with me,I answered Nobody is perfect so accept me with this mistake!So what you say have I done wrong?
acecard

SYED ANWAR ZAIDI said...

Dear Jonathan

It is really motivational will try to follow.

S A Zaidi

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Thank you for taking the time and effort into this article. It is much appreciated.

M.Field

Shriya said...

This has been by far one of the most helpful articles I have come across- thank-you Mr Lockwood Huie for helping me break my bad habits-keep up the awesome work!

Anonymous said...

Am I looking to hard for a solution to my situation, that it can be staring me in the face so obviously but yet I still cannot see it UNTIL YOU say something that makes so much sense to us all!?
I get seriously depressed at times. After breaking from my 10yr partner and now left a single parent (as he has moved 200 miles away), with no family in my surroundings, the boring, monotonous routine and loneliness have taken over. It almost seems what you suggest is too easy, how can I build my motivation???

Lewiston Life Coach Services said...

Thank you so much for this article it really helped me begin my journey into quiting smoking.

Teresa said...

Hi!
Thank you again, Jonathan, for another very inspiring article. I am going to try what Claudia did & play the message over & over to myself until I get it! So thank you too Claudia!

Anonymous said...

I think your quotes and advice are life saving.To be spiritual is to be content.I have had therapy and have been helped greatly and what you have to say keeps me going on the right path. I plan on ordering one of your books soon to say thank you for what you share with millions. Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

The insanity quote should be framed! Thank you.

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