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#2013alive: Breaking Bad (Habits)

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#2013alive: Breaking Bad (Habits)

Bad habits are hard to break, but anything’s possible if you’re committed to change.

On Monday, we introduced our new theme for November’s 12 Months of Wellness series—break one bad habit.

To recap, there are four steps to successfully committing to break a bad habit:

  1. understanding why you want to change your habit
  2. identifying the cues and triggers that contribute to your habit
  3. believing that you can change your habit
  4. committing to change

I asked the alive staff for their stories about attempts to change a bad habit. Here’s what two brave souls  admitted to:

Leah Payne, Editor: “I had a bad habit of nail-biting when I was a kid. When I was in grade three, my teacher even wrote in my report card ‘Leah needs to stop biting her nails!’  It was an anxious habit, and I was a bit if a worrier as a kid (okay, I still am …) but I’m happy to say that (apart from the odd hangnail incident if I have no nail clippers around) I no longer bite my nails. If I ever bump into my grade three teacher, that’s the first thing I’m telling her!” (I can attest that Leah’s nails are lovely now!)

Vince Yim, Digital Content Coordinator: “I’ll admit that I’m a bit of an info junkie, which isn’t ideal when I’m trying to get other things done, especially at home, when I have other things I need to do, like school work, but I end up mindlessly surfing the internet for news, social media updates, Wikipedia pages, and the like. While I haven’t completely overcome this myself, one thing I have found works is changing the environment when I actually need to get work done. The simple act of going to a nearby coffee shop with a laptop computer (complete with wireless internet) gives me better motivation to work, even though I still have access to the same websites that I do at home. This could be due to several factors, like being out in public and wanting to appear productive or the fact that coffee shops are only open at certain hours, limiting the amount of time I can work on it (the fact that I usually have to buy something to use their space helps too). So far, this has paid off, as my most recent assignment was largely completed within the confines of a coffee shop, getting me 100 percent  on an assignment worth 30 percent of the final grade.” (Congratulations, Vince!)

As for myself, I’m trying to understand why I stay up too late. There’s always so much to do and so little time. I believe time management is essential and setting realistic expectations about what I can accomplish in an evening. Some things just need to be scheduled for the weekend when I have more time. One way I’m sometimes successful at making myself get to bed earlier is by rewarding myself with reading a good book if I get to bed by 10:00. Of course, that involves limiting the amount of time I read in bed too! 

Breaking bad habits takes understanding, belief, and commitment. If we can change our bad habits, you can too! Let us know what bad habit you’re working on this week by replying to this blog or contacting us on Facebook or Twitter, using  the hashtag #2013alive.

And don't forget to download your November goal tracking sheet!

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