Have Too Many Bad Habits? Here Are Six Ways to Create Good Ones

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

It’s said that we become our habits. In some cases, that is not a good thing; bad habits prevail among many Americans. One report found that over 70 percent of US adults have at least one unhealthy behavior associated with chronic health problems. Breaking bad habits isn’t easy, but sometimes the best answer is replacing them with empowering new habits that bring positive changes to one’s daily life. “We often have habits that hold us back, like smoking or eating food lacking in nutrition,” says Dr. Rob Carter III, co-author with his wife, Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter, of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life. Carter has a few ways you can create new, empowering habits and make them stick:

Prioritize habits. “For each area in which you want to grow,” Carter says, “take some time to think about what kind of empowering habits you’d like to establish around that topic.” Areas to consider are health, wealth, social, relationships, job, hobbies, self-esteem, interpersonal skills, positive thinking, time management, and life purpose.

Focus on one at a time. “Because we have a limited amount of willpower in the morning, it’s very important how we use that energy,” Carter says. “By focusing on just one habit you would like to change – for example, eating a healthy breakfast – you can concentrate that willpower on the task at hand until it becomes a habit.”

Be reasonable with yourself. The time it will take to establish the new habit depends upon how much resistance a person has. And sometimes developing a new habit represents a long leap from where one currently stands. “That’s too daunting,” Carter says, “so break it down into more achievable steps. Incremental improvements add up to a big transformation and are often more powerful and sustainable.”

Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter are co-authors of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life (www.themorningmind.com).

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