April 8, 2020
Why is it so hard to break my bad habits?? I know exactly what I want and what I need to do to get it, but yet I’ll sabotage myself at the drop of a dime. I will do well for about a week then I always derail. I literally have no excuses. I’ll eat junk while thinking about how it’s not good for my body or scroll through social media while thinking I need to get up and exercise. Any tips for breaking these habits and staying on track?
Forever Feeling Stuck
Dear Forever Feeling Stuck,
Let me start with this – breaking a bad habit is TOUGH. It takes time, consistency and a lot of patience for yourself! Changes like eating less junk or spending less time on social media might seem small, but any change in your routine is going to take a little work.
Have you ever thought about WHY these things might be hard habits to break? When I’ve dealt with things like this in the past, it’s been super helpful to think about what is making me go back to the habits I’m trying to change. For example:
- Do you give in to eating junk food when you’re feeling a certain way? Are you usually stressed, sad, tired or bored? Or does it tend to happen more often when you’re in a social setting?
- Same thing for scrolling through social media! It’s easy for me to sit and scroll after a long, stressful day when I just want to zone out. Or maybe you fall back on social media when you’re procrastinating something that you dread, maybe like working out?
Instead of jumping right in and cutting these habits cold turkey, take a week or two to journal how often you’re doing the things you want to change, and how you feel when it happens. Then, you can tackle the root of the problem! If you’re an emotional snacker, is there something else you like to do that you could commit to doing next time you’re stressed or bored? Maybe go take a 10 minute walk, or do some deep breathing. Think about what you like!
My advice is kind of the same for social media. Do you sit and scroll in the mornings before you get up for the day, or do you notice more of this when you’re tired at the end of a long day? Journal it, and try some alternatives. It sounds like you want to exercise more instead, so think of some ways to motivate yourself! Commit to putting on your workout clothes before you sit down with your phone. Or, put fun little inspirational notes anywhere that will catch your eye and remind yourself about your goals. Your phone wallpaper might be a good place!
One more helpful tool for you – I have a free habit tracker that you can download to help you journal the habits you’re trying to change. Sometimes, just seeing how often these habits are happening can help hold yourself accountable. On the other hand, you can use this for GOOD habits too! It’s seriously sooo motivating to check off a day of working out or sticking to a meal plan.
Most importantly, prepare to fall off the wagon sometimes. We ALL do. Don’t get down on yourself if this happens. You’re human, and if you need your favorite snack every now and then, or if your brain just needs to zone out every once in awhile, that’s okay. How you tackle these habits in the long run is what matters! If you turn these habits into “sometimes” things, definitely consider that a win.
I hope these tips help you move in the right direction! It might take some time, but I KNOW you’ve got this!
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.