Unhealthy habits stop you from living a happy life, a more purposeful life. They harm your well-being and take away opportunities to be the best version of yourself.
As an entrepreneur, I know the importance of building healthy habits while juggling life’s demands. Leveraging my experiences as a small business owner, I want to share a few actionable tips to help others develop strong habits and make positive change in their lives.
So how can you break them? What can you do to overcome unhealthy habits and stick to good ones? Here are 6 ways to help you overcome unhealthy habits and achieve lasting joy.
6 Bulletproof Tips to Conquer Unhealthy Habits and Live a More Purposeful Life
1. Take Baby Steps
You likely won’t be able to eliminate unhealthy habits on day one. Removing unhealthy habits needs to be worked on slowly. So don’t buy into the idea that you can easily accomplish amazing results overnight.
If you have limited willpower, aim to overcome your habits one at a time—it will make things more manageable. For instance, if you want to quit an alcohol addiction, it would make sense to reduce your intake gradually. Start by not drinking for a week. Then bump it up to two weeks and so on.
Breaking down your goals like this gives you small meaningful wins. It helps you build momentum and confidence to keep you moving forward. So no need to have the all-or-nothing mindset.
Don’t be afraid to take baby steps. As long as you are making progress, you are on your way to building healthy habits.
2. Find Your Motivation for Changing
It can be a struggle to develop healthy habits. Most of us lack the motivation the take proper action to improve our lives. We often think, “I’m not motivated” and “It’s too hard.”
However, the trick is to figure out your motives for changing in the first place. Give yourself a reason why you’re making changes. You will be able to have a goal to work toward and a reminder whenever you are down in the dumps.
For example, if you have impulsive buying habits, your motivation can be to save money and become financially free. Hence, the energy will naturally come to you and push you to make a better change.
3. Change Your Friend Group
Who you surround yourself with can have a drastic impact on your habits, healthy or unhealthy habits. If your friends are toxic, it can be a good idea to distance yourself from them. You don’t have to completely sever ties with them, but try meeting new people.
Since we all come from different walks of life, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get to know someone. You might make a long-term friend or a workout buddy who encourages you to get into shape.
Depending on your interest, you should meet up with other people. If you enjoy hiking, go on a hike and talk to others. Since you have a common interest with them, you are more likely to speak on the same wavelength.
It’s important to befriend those who contribute to your healthy habit. If your current friend group has a bad influence on you, it might be a sign to stay clear from them.
4. Reward Yourself
We are often disappointed when we fail to be consistent with our routine. Instead of beating yourself up, try rewarding yourself now and then to alleviate your stress and anxiety.
It might seem over the top, but you should realize there is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for a small achievement.
As long as it motivates you to be more consistent, you are putting yourself in good hands.
Here are a few ways to do this:
- Go kayaking
- Watch the sunset
- Take a walk around nature
- Have a picnic with your family
Simply reframing your mindset can reinforce healthy habits and help you break bad ones. You will be more motivated and accomplish your goals faster than ever. Developing a reward system will be the best thing you can do to take care of yourself.
5. Recognize Your Negative Triggers
It is crucial to recognize what is causing you to have a bad habit. Identifying your triggers before they come to light is the first step to removing them.
For instance, if you always sit on the couch to watch TV, think about why you do so. You might realize it happens whenever you come back from work mentally exhausted.
Once you become aware of that, you may try getting more sleep the day before or sitting out in the sun to re-energize yourself.
Personally, I would reach out to my phone to check my business emails, even when I was off work. Then, I learned to avoid that by turning off notifications and having my phone in another room. That’s a very effective way of getting rid of some unhealthy habits.
6. Be Aware of Your Excuses
You should find what excuses you tell yourself that prevent you from making positive changes and overcome any unhealthy habits you might be holding on to.
After all, many of us make blatant excuses to justify being unable to improve ourselves. We say, “I’m exhausted after work” or “There’s no time left.”
But if you continue to come up with these illusions, they will become true. If you don’t start putting in the time and effort to achieve something, you will never reach any progress. Hence, if you catch yourself complaining or delaying something, hold back that urge.
Overcoming your unhealthy habits will require nothing short of a transformation. Be mindful that changing can seem daunting. However, it is possible to break down your habits into bite-sized steps.
Be consistent daily and work hard to bring about a positive change. Do not be disheartened over every failure, as it only keeps you further away from happiness.