Routine is a very powerful way to promote positive mental health as is it creates stability that most of us need at some point in our lives. The flip side to this though is that they are harder to change and with some people they are to big they might not even be willing to acknowledge their reality or have the ability to change.
It took me 10 years to quit smoking and looking back what was ridiculous was that I never really enjoyed it. It was indulging in the wrong bad habit. If i'm going to be addicted to something I want to be addicted to something that will benefit my life.
To help everyone who might be struggling getting control of their life I’ve listed 15 practical steps you can do everyday in order to change bad habits into more healthy ones.
1. Be honest with yourself
The biggest step takes courage and it involves owning your shit. Knowing who you are and taking responsibility and control for the things that's happening in your life is a big thing.
2. Don’t give yourself a hard time.
Owning your life doesn't mean hitting yourself with a stick for every bad decisions you've made.
Everyone is allowed to make mistakes but it's what you do after that you need to focus on. Build yourself up with a bit of self-care so your in the right frame of mind for breaking them old habits by setting goals with a stress free attitude.
3. How did you get here?
Try to understand how your past daily routines have led you to where you are. Ask yourself When did you start these unhealthy negative habits? Do you know what your trigger was?
4. Write it down
Just between you and me I have a bloody awful memory. I’ve actually forgotten how old I was once (No kidding) and had to phone to family to check!.... So this little hack is a life saver for me. You might feel uneasy with writing a journal but no one has to know. You don’t have to tell anyone. Just use it as a little reminder to you about where you are at the minute.
You can read it when your feeling less motivated, it will be a way to check what your actions are doing so you can stay focused and motivated to change these bad habits.
5. Plan for the slip ups
We all make mistakes and it may feel like your going 2 steps forwards and 1 step back sometimes but that’s OK. Your in this for the long term and Progress is progress. There's a whole lot of stuff you can learn from mistakes..... they're not always bad. .
6. Start small
Most of us can't go 0 to 100 in 5 seconds so start with changing the bad habits that are the easiest. It'll build your confidence and ease you in gently.
Realise your obstacles and try and understand ways to overcome them.
8. Do a 28 day mental health challenge
This is a great way to focus your mind and get you into the right sort of head space to succeed. It'll teach you about dealing with with stress, promote positive habit formation and put you in the best position for breaking habits.
If you'd like to use the 28 day mental health challenge I create click the image below.
9. Don’t give yourself a start date straight away
When I gave up smoking 10 years ago I used this technique. I gave myself a quitting day about 1 month in advance and it really did help. It not only prepared myself for what was to come but it was a little bit like closer. I know 100% that it helped me.
10. Get help
There is no shame in getting other people involved. Whether that's for motivation, guidance or even a telling off there's no shame in asking others for help. I'm a bit of a Audible junkie so I find getting help from them really works.
I went through my library and picked out The 2 books that have helped me the most and I’ve listed them below. The first is a bit clinical so It will give you practical advice and guidance on steps you can do to help you change your bad habits.
The one below does the same but presents it in a totally different way. If your like me and sometimes need a good kick up the arse then that book is for you.
If your interest click on the amazon links below and you can find out more.
11. Stay Positive
Things may get tough for a while but when you get down remind yourself why your doing this, what you want to achieve and the progress you've already made. Don't underestimate how much difference having a positive mindset can help.
12. Realise some people might want you to fail.
There's some people that might not want to put your best interest before there's, especially if they are getting something out of your bad habits.
13. Avoid trigger situations
Try to avoid the situations where you are likely to struggle. If your truly serious about changing then you might have to make some changes at the start until you feel comfortable and confident enough to be in situations that might be triggering to you.
14. Practice self-care habits
Putting yourself first sometimes and looking after you and your mental health is not selfish, regardless of what others say. You need to be OK, just like everyone else.
15. Work B$%ch
I always say this to people. You get out what you put in. Be prepared and willing to put the graft in. It might not be easy but put your head down and do whatever you need to...... It will end, the things you'll go through are not permanent. The clouds will part and the sun will shine ago.
Changing habits in your life can be scary and a long process. It might seem so big that the easy option is just to stay the same as you were. I get that, that was me. I realised though that the pain of staying the way I was to much to ignore.
I wasn't interested in just surviving anymore I wanted to thrive.
Please share this post with anyone that mike find it helpful 😉