Education

Here’s How to Break that Bad Habit – For Good!

The new year often inspires many of us to try new things, specifically things that may help us lead healthier, happier lives. But how can we successfully turn our bad habits into good habits in the long run? And which part of our lives should we focus on first – our diet, activity levels, or sleep? Here are five ways you can begin to substitute guilty pleasures for healthier, more sustainable habits.
First, Kick the Myth: Healthier Food Doesn’t Cost More (Today Online, 20171)

Nutritionists and experts will tell you that a healthy diet costing more than an unhealthy one isn’t necessarily true. Of course, there are some healthier options that will cost more than a bag of white rice or bread, but there are plenty of healthy substitutes that are affordable. It’s important to think outside of the box and focus on maintaining a balanced diet that avoids consuming an excess of any one type of food group.

Next, Identify What Triggers a Bad Habit (Psychology Today, 20172)

Because developing new, sustainable habits is intrinsically connected with triggers, it’s crucial to identify those patterns and do something about them. That may look like avoiding junk food in your home or finding a way to get active when you feel a bad mood coming on. It’s important to identify what will pull you away from making healthier choices in life and stop them in their tracks.

Focus on Getting Enough Sleep (Straits Times, 20183)

Did you know that a good night’s sleep is just as important for your health as healthy eating and proper exercise? Poor sleep is linked to higher body weight, lack of concentration and productivity, and puts you at a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. That’s why it’s crucial to get the right amount of sleep each night so you can improve your immune function and take each day in stride!

Find Your Support System (Psychology Today, 20172)

A support system can look like a running buddy or accountability partner, but having someone hold you accountable for these healthy habits and encouraging you even on bad days is a crucial part of making these new habits stick. Find a source of support to turn to when things get difficult, and you will find it much easier to follow your new lifestyle.

Lastly, Start Today (Straits Times, 20184)

Healthy lifestyle habits should start as early as possible, as this can potentially help your body to ward off chronic illness and other potential age hazards. Avoid factors that lead to poor lifestyle choices and focus on balance in every situation. By starting today, you can actively work to avoid issues further on in your life.

Taking the necessary steps to change your life may seem hard at first, but the results are long-lasting – and life changing.

By incorporating these easy swaps into your daily choices, you will start to see the changes you always hoped for. And as you grow older, these dedicated decisions could completely change your path in life.

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Content Sources
1 - Koh, Valerie (November 2017), A healthy diet need not cost more, says experts, retrieved from Today Online
https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/healthy-diet-need-not-cost-more-say-experts
2 - Taibbi, Robert (December 2017), How to Break Bad Habits, retrieved from Psychology Today
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fixing-families/201712/how-break-bad-habits
3 - Lai, Linette (February 2018), Healthy and still tasty: Dishes made with sugar substitutes, retrieved from Straits Times
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/healthy-and-still-tasty-dishes-made-with-sugar-substitutes
4 - Teo, Joyce (March 2018), Get rid of bad habits to cut risk, retrieved from Straits Times
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/get-rid-of-bad-habits-to-cut-risk