Breaking old habits and starting new habits

Trying to break old habits and start new ones is never easy. To help you along your journey, we’ve compiled some advice to make those new habits stick.

Breaking old habits and start new ones is never easy. You have made some resolutions this year but it is already hard to keep them. To help you along your journey, we’ve compiled some advice to make those new habits stick.

 

How to break old habits

 

Specific

This year you want to eat more healthily. It sounds great, but it isn’t very specific. If something is too vague, it will be hard to achieve. Think instead about how you can eat healthier food. For example, you can include vegetables with your dinner four times a week.

 

Realistic

You want to start a new habit where you go to the gym four times a week, but right now you don’t go to the gym at all. Sometimes called the ‘false hope syndrome’, we are more likely to fail when we have unrealistic expectations about how easy it will be to make the change. In this case, it is better to start off with going once a week and then building it up over time.

 

One habit

You want to exercise more, drink less, read more books, watch less TV, and quit smoking. That is a lot to achieve all at once. Instead, focus on one thing, and when that becomes a habit, you move on to the next goal.

 

Get support

Ask your friends and family for support. It is hard to break an old bad habit and start a new one if you are doing it by yourself. If you want to eat healthy meals, see if you can encourage your partner to join you. If you want to cut back on alcohol, play footy in the park with a friend instead of heading to the pub where the temptation may be too great.

 

Expect setbacks

Change is gradual and doesn’t usually happen in a straight line. Going back and forth between the old and new habit is common. Remember that any effort you make will help you to achieve your new habit, so keep trying. The longer you stick with your new habit, the more likely it will become natural, and you won’t even have to think about it.

 

If you need someone to talk to, MensLine Australia professional counsellors are here to provide information and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call us on 1300 78 99 78 or access online counselling.

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