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How To Develop Healthy Habits And Kick Bad Habits To The Curb

How To Kick Bad Habits To The Curb With Challenges

Health is dependent on many different things, but one thing we have control over is our habits. I know many people who have very bad habits (and have very bad health). Yet, instead of taking action on their health, they complain about it as often as possible.

For instance, I have one very close family member who has a chronic disease, and even though he knows certain foods hurt his stomach, and smoking makes him feel horrible, and pop instead of water doesn’t do him any favors to feel better, he doesn’t take action to change his lifestyle. He makes excuses and keeps going on with his unhealthy habits.

I also have a friend who has a close relative that will not take action for his health. He has had 4 or 5 heart attacks, had bypass surgery, and has a completely blocked artery – yet he will still not take action on getting rid of bad habits and developing new ones.

Then there is my husband who has multiple sclerosis. He gets up and exercises everyday, eats a diet that makes him feel good, and focuses on the positive. He is constantly taking action on his health, developing habits that benefit him, and eliminating foods or habits when he knows they are not good for him. And he feels good because of it.

Developing Healthy Habits Helps To Eliminate Bad Habits

Don’t get me wrong! Change can be hard. Not everyone has the drive my husband does. Moreover, not everyone has the ability to continuously move out of their comfort zone to go after what they want. But, even so, change is not impossible.

For instance, many people say that it’s impossible to quit smoking. But I know many people (including myself) who have quit smoking and survived to talk about it. Therefore, it’s not impossible.

And, just as getting rid of bad habits can be hard, developing healthy habits can be hard too. But, again, it’s not impossible! It just takes a strong desire, commitment, and daily action.

Most people find that as they develop new and healthier habits, their bad habits naturally fall away. You can’t consciously do good things for your health and still make consistently bad choices at the same time!

But, you also can’t overhaul your life all at once. It all boils down to taking one thing on at a time and being consistent with it.

Some Tips To Create A New Habit

Want to develop a new and healthy habit, or replace that bad habit with something better? This video has a few tips to help you make the most out of your effort.

Summing up the video:

  1. Do the new habit in the morning and move established habits later in the day.
  2. Start today (not tomorrow, not next week, not next year!)
  3. Do the new habit everyday

Challenges: A Great Way To Kick Bad Habits To The Curb

One of the best ways to develop a new habit is to take on a challenge! Challenges force you to do things that are outside of your comfort zone – daily – and can help you develop the consistent commitment that is required to fight through the desire to quit and revert back to old ways.

The truth is that saying you are going to do something everyday is not enough for many people. Even if you feel that passion to ‘stick with it’ when you start, it can be easy to come up with excuses and let yourself get out of it ‘just today’ and then the next day and the next day and…well, you get the drift. A challenge makes it harder to make excuses.

Moreover, a challenge focuses on one aspect of change, and many people believe it is important to focus on changing one habit at a time or else you can get overwhelmed, feel stressed, and give up on it completely.

Examples Of Challenges For Health And How They Can Impact Your Life

Following are three people who were willing to share their experience with a challenge they took on for their health. All are a little different, but all had an impact in a positive way.

Questions Asked:

Q. What Challenge Did You Take On?

A. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

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I tried a fitness challenge last year. I work so much that I am always so tired by the end of the day, and I cannot workout at all. So I was committed to running daily for 30 days no matter how tired I was. It was an interesting experience. I had a lot of business traveling too that month, but I did it!

A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)

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I challenged myself to walk every day in August 2014 to improve my general fitness levels and reduce my chance of developing Alzheimers Disease.

A. Tat Apostolova

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I wasn’t getting enough sleep, and yet I was staying up late every night, so I ended up completely worn out, unmotivated and cranky. I set a one-week Get More Sleep challenge for myself and I also invited my blog readers to join me (public accountability is always a good thing).

Q. How Long Did It Last?

14373934240 7678751c62 oA. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

 30 days.

57261A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)

 Still going.

f2658992311242a77e00bbdc4def8aeb?s=100&d=mm&r=gA. Tat Apostolova

7 days.

 

Q. Was It Hard To Stick With The Challenge?

A. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

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It was hard on certain days (I was traveling a lot too!) but I used lots of phone reminders to stay on top of it no matter how busy the day was.

A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)

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It was easy enough to walk every day through the summer and autumn. Frost and slippery roads put a stop to walking for 6 weeks around Christmas, though I restarted daily walks again in spring.

A. Tat Apostolova

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Two days into it I felt even more tired than before and I nearly quit. In hindsight, it was probably my body realising that it was getting attention, so it was asking for what it needed. It was definitely the fact that I wasn’t doing it alone that motivated me to keep going. Not only it was a group challenge, but I was the challenge leader, so I had to set example for everyone else.

Q. What Were Your Results?

A. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

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Aside of higher self-esteem and better health (I found myself being less tired after day #10), sticking to consistent workout plan has been much easier since then. I guess I’ve learned to stick to my workouts no matter what’s happening at work.

A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)

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My blood pressure dropped. I’m happier, fitter and generally less moody. I get more work done because I switch off and come back to work refreshed.

A. Tat Apostolova

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By the end of the challenge I felt amazing. I was calmer and happier to be around my children. My creativity went through the roof, and I was a lot more productive, too!

 

Get Accountable And Join A Group Challenge

Ann and Phil did their health challenge on their own (which is awesome), but Tat mentioned something important – she said that she nearly quit but kept going because it was a group challenge.

One thing I’ve learned is that if you really want to develop a new habit, then getting support or joining a group challenge will make things a heck of a lot easier to ensure you kick bad habits to the curb and bring in new habits that are health supporting.

When you have to be accountable to other people, and have other people to encourage you to keep going, change becomes much easier.

In addition, when you don’t feel like you are the only one putting in some uncomfortable effort to change, it adds to the motivation.

And if the challenge has some sort of reward at the end, that can be extra motivating to stick with the new habit.

You CAN Kick Bad Habits To The Curb And Develop Healthy Habits

If you think you can’t develop new habits and kick bad habits to the curb, then you will hold yourself back from experiencing better health and more happiness. That mindset will never let you go after what you want.

Remember, your health is dependent on many things, some of which you may not have control over. But your habits are one aspect that you have control over. You have the ability to eliminate and replace bad habits with healthier ones. Why not use that to your advantage?

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4 thoughts on “How To Develop Healthy Habits And Kick Bad Habits To The Curb”

  1. Hi Bellaisa
    I’m honoured to be able to add to such a superb post. When I think about health I always think on the old adage, “Youth is wasted on the young”. It is only when you have daily aches and pains that you appreciate the daily pain-free lives that most young people have.

    1. I hear that! I don’t consider myself old, but I definitely know that when I was younger, I took advantage of it all and developed some poor habits that could have prevented a few issues in my life. Thanks for sharing your experience Phil!

  2. Challenges are great to overcome bad habits and I love your idea to add a reward at the end ( I knew I was missing something!) Ann and Phil, I’m so impressed. Kari, thanks for giving me a chance to share my experience!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. My husband is going to reward me at the end of the MyBlogU challenge with a dinner at my favorite restaurant. Definitely something to look forward to!

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