3 Ways to Overcome Unhealthy Habits

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed: Easy to get into, hard to get out of.

If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit, you know how hard it can be. Maybe it’s drinking too much coffee, or biting your nails, or playing video games too much….

Behaviors that have become second nature are very challenging to change.

On the other hand, some ‘bad habits’ are actually full-blown addictions. You know a bad habit is actually an addiction when the behavior begins to affect your day-to-day life and you feel like you can’t stop anymore.

Addictive behaviors are marked by:

Craving and compulsive use
Continued use despite the consequences
Lack of control over frequency and amount of use

Are you struggling with bad habits or even addictions regarding food, money or time management? If so, these three tips can help you get your life on track:

Admit Your Problems

The only way out of this is through it.

If you’re going to make a change, the first step is recognizing that there’s a problem in the first place. This might sound like “just say no,” but it’s not as simple as that. It’s easy to pretend that things aren’t as bad as they seem, but when we try to deny the problems, we end up making them worse—and then eventually giving up on solving them entirely.

So don’t hide from your issues; instead, own up to them and get ready for battle!

ACTION ITEM: Get an accountability partner. Find someone in your life who would walk with you and pray for you as you make much needed change. You may have to go to a 12-step group or talk with a pastor or counselor. But embrace the relationships that will spur you on toward wellness and self-control.

Make a Plan

Once you’ve admitted the problem, it’s time to come up with a plan for how to fix it.

Don’t just say “I’ll eat less junk food” or “I’ll exercise more often.”

Come up with concrete steps that will help make those goals achievable. For example: “I’m going to keep healthy snacks in my desk drawer at work so when I get hungry, I won’t go for the donuts.” Or “When I wake up in the morning, instead of going straight for coffee and checking Facebook first thing, I’m going to spend time in prayer and God’s word.”

Whatever works for you! Just set yourself up for success by making sure your plan has some kind of actionable and measurable steps.

ACTION ITEM: Write out your plan. Be very specific about exactly what you’re committing to do.

Sign it.
Date it.

Make copies of your plan and hang it where you can see it….on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, in your car.

Something simple like putting your action steps on paper brings a tangible nature to your commitments. They’re not just thoughts or words, but a physical, concrete object reflecting your next steps toward life-change.

And be sure to share your action plan with your accountability partner.

Celebrate Your Wins

Celebrate your wins as you work on addiction recovery. Acknowledge when you get it right and celebrate those moments.

Often when we’re in the middle of a tough struggle, we can’t help but focus on all the things that aren’t going well—the cravings, the urges, the times where we just want to give up.

But if we take a step back and look at our lives from a different perspective, we can see how far we’ve come and how much progress we’ve made.

And that positivity will help us stay motivated when things get tough again!

ACTION ITEM: Make sure you take a moment to celebrate a win and do something special for yourself: buy yourself some flowers, eat at your favorite restaurant, or watch your favorite movie—whatever it takes for your mind and body to feel rejuvenated after another day of fighting addiction.

It’s a very important part of recovery!

And make sure you include your accountability partner too. They want to celebrate your wins as much as you do!

One More Thing

I want to say one very important truth: I believe in you.

You CAN do this.

I’m cheering for you and so is the Spirit of God as you make strides toward a healthier and more Christ-like you.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” -Galatians 5:1

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