When we think about breaking bad habits we tend to associate it with deprivation. We’re giving up something that, though we know is bad for us, we’ve come to depend upon in some way.
So how can we take the sting out of the sacrifice and make us actually WANT to kick all that crap to the curb?
The trick with this one is to re-frame your thinking. Realise that you’re not giving something up, you’re making space for something better.
By saying no to the crap, you’re allowing yourself say YESSS to something incredible.
Here are some examples:
You’re not depriving yourself of that cute skirt or new notebook or pretty plant; you’re welcoming a debt-free life. You’re opening up the possibility of a Caribbean cruise, or a home makeover, or the investment that’s going to give you a brighter future.
Or an even cuter skirt.
And that’s better than any ol’ bits and bobs in the local shop.
(Debt reduction is a big goal of mine this year. While frivolous purchases may seem fun in the moment, I’m focusing instead on the fact that they’re pulling me further and further away from that feeling of freedom.)
Reducing junk food:
You’re cutting out the things that make you feel sluggish, and that give you headaches and heartburn and mess with your digestion. Instead, you’re focused on finding great-tasting, nutritious foods that leave you feeling light and vibrant… and give you the sense of smug satisfaction that comes along with that.
You wouldn’t dump sludge in your car’s fuel tank and expect a smooth ride so don’t do the same to yourself.
You’re premium, baby. Pure premium.
(As someone who used to dump vast quantities of sludge into herself in the form of chocolate, I speak from experience. Five years clean and sober now. There's a video at the bottom of this post that explains how I did it.)
You’re stamping out the things that are dragging you one step closer to cancer. In doing so, you’re gaining better health, easier breathing (black lungs are so last season), and increased stamina. You’ll smell better, look better, and feel better.
And you’ll be able to keep up with the kids and pets in the park.
Or pull off that famous steps scene from Rocky.
(Plus, saying no to the sh*t they put in rat poison is always a good idea.)
When it comes right down to it, it’s about stress management. Our bad habits are, in some way or another, stress relievers for us.
What we need to realise is that those bad habits CAUSE a lot of stress. We’re anxious about their impact on our health, we’re worried about what other people think, we have endless thoughts that we SHOULD quit, we’re stressed about what our next credit card statement will reveal, or how all this is affecting the ones we love.
By quitting a bad habit you’re eliminating the root source of a huge amount of what’s giving you grief in the first place.
And that’s definitely worth saying YESSS to.
If you’re looking for another neat trick that helped me go cold turkey on my chocolate addiction all those years ago, this video is for you. Click it to play:
What are you saying YESSS to in your life?
Here are some other posts on the topic of mindset I think you'll really like:
November 11, 2019
August 26, 2019