Are Your Bad Habits Keeping You from Achieving Your Goals?
Year after year, I run into the same brick wall. I struggle to follow through with my New Year’s Resolutions, and end up quitting halfway through. Do you find yourself in the same slump, year after year as well? Maybe it’s time to spend more time exploring the reason’s why, and less time focused on creating new habits.
There are ways to overcome this issue. Here are few tricks to help keep you focused.
1. Self-esteem assessment…..
It’s important to know how you feel about yourself, before trying to take on major life changes. Your success depends on how well you can adapt to the new changes you are about to make.
If your goal is to give up a habit that is of a chemical dependency, withdraw is a major factor in this situation, and your mental health can be challenged, creating more potential self-esteem issues.
Your current self-esteem can either help or hinder your progress, understanding it either way, will give you an advantage to achieving your goals.
Make an honest list of specific habits you would like to change, allows me to really explore different solutions to eliminating habits, that are causing me to give up year after year. With every major change in your life, you need to have clear solutions on how to avoid making the same bad decisions that lead to less desirable outcomes. Think of this whole process as, spring cleaning your mental and physical habits.
3. Setting Boundaries
What kind of bad habits do I mean? For me, any habit that has adverse results to your Health and overall well-being, is a bad habit. For example, cigarettes we all know are absolutely harmful to us, yet so many people struggle everyday to quit. I believe that avoiding the triggers associated to smoking, will bear real results, i.e. avoiding bars, and situations where people congregate and smoke, is a step in the right direction. Setting real boundaries with friends and loved ones who may also smoke. I understand that there is also the chemical addiction, and it is definitely important to seek expert assistance with chemical dependency, there are things you can set in motion for yourself, and that starts with shifting your perspective around your health, and making the necessary steps to alter your habits.
4. Start now, don’t wait
Why put off the important steps you need to make? If you have made it this far, you are ready to kick yourself in high gear.
With most bad habits, if you can replace it with a healthy alternative, you will gain the confidence to make real progress to a better you. Increasing your daily activity levels, will release endorphins, lower cortisol levels (Chronic stress puts your health at risk), more energy, restful sleep at night, and your overall mood will improve. Who can’t use improvement in all of these areas?
Another tip that was taught to me, understand that making major changes in your life takes time. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you want to find happiness, you have to be wiling to be patient with yourself. There will be setbacks, and you will fall of the wagon so to speak. Don’t get caught holding onto your slip ups for dear life, no one is perfect. You can learn a lot about yourself from falling down. Failure is not falling down, staying down is failure.
5. Reward system:
Most good deeds don’t go unnoticed, especially if we are keeping tabs on ourselves. We are always harder on ourselves, than anyone else can be. As much as you want to punish yourself for your slip-ups, I think it is equally important to reward yourself, mostly for major achievements. The key is to make sure that your reward system is a Healthy reward.
For example, if your goal is to give up smoking, but your reward is to go to a party serving alcohol, with the friends you identified earlier as triggers to your habit, this would be counter productive to achieving your goal. I am not suggesting that you stop being friends with people, because they smoke or drink. However, I believe you can maintain those friendships, individually. A weekly or bi-weekly Healthy dinner, with a different friend each week is a good way to spend quality time with people. You possibly stand a better chance establishing boundaries with yourself and the group, if nurture your friendships individually.
Try inviting 1 friend over at a time for dinner on a Friday night, cook a nice dinner, let them know before hand that your party is a non-smoking dinner. If alcohol is also a trigger for you, let them know that alcohol is not involved that night. True friends and family members will respect these boundaries. Have an open conversation about what you are trying to achieve, and how they can help you achieve this goal. Soon, this person will become an advocate for your cause, and you can start to slowly add friends and family to your dinner party. Soon the boundary system and reward system will be more synergistic.
6. Do away with Fantastical Ideas
Just in case you think, “This is the year that “you” are finally going to get in shape, so that you can try out for the next Winter Olympic games, in an obscure sport you have always dreamed of learning, but never really found the motivation to try?” It’s time to pull it together and being more realistic with yourself.
Find a way to satisfy your fantasy, by learning how to roller blade. You will get in great shape, eventually you can take your hobby to the ice. In time, you will see how your fantasy was meant to be a part of your life.
However it isn’t realistic to set your goals so high, that realistically requires years and years and years of training and dedication. When you are brand new to the sport, chance are very slim that you will be able to take on world renowned, lifetime dedicated athletes. Of course there are always exceptions, that is another blog all together.
7. Increase Your Knowledge
Explore new ways, to increase your brain power. Learn a new language, or join a book club, take online courses, or download mind stimulating games on your tablet. Mental exercise is very important, staying sharp and focused will help keep you motivated towards making positive changes in your life. Expanding your musical repertoire will also stimulate your brain.
It’s important to challenge yourself mentally, to maintain clarity and mental balance.
8. Create Time to Reflect
Make time to meditate and self-reflect. This is a good way to check in with yourself, and to make any specific changes to your routine, that may be interrupting your focus. It’s important to understand your internal dialogue, and how it may be affecting your current goals.
9. Reorganizing Your Work Space and Mind Space
Clearing the physical clutter out of your living space, and your work space, has psychological benefits, and can make you more productive.
Making time weekly, to reorganize your home/office, will create healthy routines that you will reward yourself for later.
10. Do Something Smart for Yourself
Do your research and invest in a really good fitness tracker. One that has multiple functions and will meet your specific needs.
Make sure that you can interchange the jewelry that you wear with your fitness tracker. This will allow you to use the fitness tracker as a way to reward yourself.
My favorite jewelry brand is fitjewels jewelry for major wearable brands like; Fitbit Jewelry, Apple Watch Jewelry, Misfit Ray Jewelry. (Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Alta/Alta HR, Fitbit Charge 2, Fitbit Flex/Flex2, Fitbit One) by fitjewels.
Apple Watch Band – LINK
– Available size up to 8 inches (circumference of your wrist) – Fits 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 & Apple Watch Series 3 – Electroplated 18K Gold (gold color) or rhodium plated (silver color) – Nickel free