How to Break Bad Habits – Now Vs. Later

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Anyone who has ever tried breaking bad habits knows just how difficult that can be. Similarly, anyone who has tried to form a new habit––particularly a healthy habit––has likely encountered obstacles in their effort. It is a cruel joke that breaking bad habits is so difficult, while forming good habits is so difficult. 

 

As habits relate to health, our modern day culture makes forming good habits a challenge. Stress, hectic lifestyles, the availability and affordability of unhealthy foods and the ubiquity of entertainment that encourages sedentary behavior are all thought to play a role in poor health, but this is the day to day reality many people live with. All of these factors compound the effects of the others, and it is a tough cycle to change. 

 

For anyone trying to break this cycle, it is easy to fall into the trap of promising to change the next day, day after day. Putting off change for one more day is an easy justification when you’re hungry and the drive-thru is right there. Or if you’re tired and the light of the television is illuminating a comfortable spot on the couch. In those kind of moments, the ease of continuing a lifestyle that is ultimately detrimental to your health often wins over making healthy choices.

 

For most of us, health or lack thereof is the accumulation of all the choices we make on a day to day basis on a long term scale. One cigarette likely isn’t going to kill you. One cigarette every half hour, every day for years on end, however, puts you at risk for a world of health problems. Similarly, one burger with fries and a large chocolate shake won’t give you diabetes or heart disease. A lifetime of eating that way, however, might yield results most wouldn’t want to experience. Forgoing exercise for a day isn’t going to make you sedentary. Forgoing exercise for a year or a decade does. 

 

Still, change is hard. We don’t think about later on. We think about now.  

 

One thing to think about when wondering about how to break bad habits is to take the consequences of continuing to put off change to its logical conclusion. For example, lets say you suffer from a lack of energy. You could do nothing about it, but what are the chances that one day you’ll wake up feeling energized? The longer you wait to change your diet, to begin exercising and committing to getting good rest every night, the longer you’ll lack that feeling of vitality. For many folks, it may be that extra 10, 20 or 100 pounds you know you need to lose. Perhaps you even know how to do it––you’ve read The Fungus Link to Weight Loss and you know some simple dietary changes will work wonders––but you continue to put change off for the sake of ease, convenience or because you’re simply used to living a certain way. The logical conclusion is simply that that unwanted weight isn’t going anywhere! It is a simple, but profound idea; if you change nothing, nothing will change. 

 

When we think about sating our cravings now against what the consequences may be later, we realize that some temporary discomfort may be worth suffering in the long run. Make the decision today to change the habits you know are holding you back from experiencing the health you know you would like to have.
 

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