Are you beating yourself up again because you made a disappointing choice that you’re not proud of? Maybe you’ve decided to break your bad habit but couldn’t resist the urge? Poor or unhealthy choices often lead to poor outcomes. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay in a cycle of disappointments, regrets, and setbacks.
If you can identify situations that trigger your unhealthy choices, then you can manage your behavior better. Additionally, you’d be able to stop yourself before making the same mistake twice.
Are you ready to try a new path toward getting the happiness and success you deserve? Read on to learn five ways of avoiding stations that trigger unhealthy choices.
Secret #1: Identify Your Triggers
You can’t understand WHY you act the way you do unless you identify the triggers that ultimately get you to that bad decision.
The first step in making healthier choices is to evaluate a past bad decision so that your personal “triggers,” the things that motivate you to make a decision, come to light. One way to do this is to evaluate how you got to that past bad decision in the first place.
Consider reflecting on these questions:
- Where in your journey did the decision become a poor one?
- When did things take a turn for the worse?
Remember: There’s always a moment of impact that changes the course of our steps. If you can identify that point, then your triggers can also come to light.
Let’s take the example of someone trying to lose weight by refraining from drinking alcoholic drinks. Let’s say the person leaves work every night intending to go home. But they pass by a grocery store on their daily drive, and they feel compelled to stop and pick up a bottle of wine. Their trigger could be passing by the grocery store. If they can take a different route away from the temptations of grocery stores or wine shops, they may have a better chance of avoiding drinking. Try this exercise to first identify your key triggers.
Secret #2: Write Down Your Commitments
Many well-intentioned plans go up in smoke because you may not be fully committed to them.
Start practicing intentional commitments to the decisions you want to make and the outcomes you want to experience. One way to do this is to write down your commitments on a piece of paper. Tape them on several places where you could see them throughout the day. This way, you always get a gentle reminder of what you said you’re going to do . Some places you may post your commitments are on your bathroom mirror, in your lunch cooler, or on your steering wheel.
It may feel silly at first. But it’s an important practice that has a powerful effect on your mind. You are essentially trying to help your mind adapt to personal commitment and to make those a habit for your everyday life.
Secret #3: Avoid Problematic People
Remember, you’re progressing on a journey. So, after you have identified your triggers and become intentional about your commitments, it’s time to be even more tactical.
Ever noticed how some bad decisions are not just about you? Some people may be contributing to you making unhealthy choices. Identify these individuals who may be influencing you in less than favorable ways.
Who do you turn to to “get in trouble?”
Maybe it’s a former flame or a colleague at work. Could it be a family member? Whoever it is, decide to avoid that person temporarily until you can fully control your triggers.
As you go through this step, you may realize that you may have to sever some relationships. During this time, it’s imperative to surround yourself with positive influences. Furthermore, you should learn to be content spending time alone being introspective and setting your own personal goals. Who are you at your core, and who do you want to be? Spending time with yourself could help remind you that you are better than any negative decisions or unhealthy choices you have made in the past.
Secret #4: Practice Positive Thinking
Once you’ve cut negative people out of your life, it’s time to get rid of negative thinking too. Ever get close to reaching your goals and then start to doubt yourself? Does a little voice in your head say, “You can’t do this. You’re going to fail!”
This happens to everyone, but especially individuals who struggle with their confidence and feel bad about their decisions. Self-loathing will only draw you into a deeper, darker hole, so you’ll need to start practicing positive thinking.
For every negative thought or decision, overpower with positivity. For example, you experienced road rage and screamed at drivers on the road? Repay all of that anger and rudeness by doing a random act of kindness. You start thinking about how terrible you are? Replace that thought with a compliment to yourself. It’s amazing how confident you become simply by changing your words and actions from negative to positive.
Secret #5: Reward Yourself
You can’t do all of this hard work without some kind of motivation, so it’s important to celebrate your achievements.
It’s challenging to navigate this time and break bad habits. However, intentionally setting up rewards for yourself as you accomplish your goals could help you stay motivated. Rewards are also lovely to have particularly when the going gets tough.
Are You Ready?
You may research tips, hacks, and secrets to avoiding unhealthy choices, but if you’re not 100% ready, nothing will work.
So, get yourself to a place where you are truly ready to do the work and transform your life. Then, get started with these tips and see how they work out for you. We are confident that with practice, you will get better at integrating these steps into your life.
Learning new skills and ways of thinking requires your ultimate commitment. Try to follow these tips in different life situations and reflect when you don’t quite execute them the way you wanted. Reflection is a huge part of this process, so make sure you are evaluating your feelings and the outcomes as you practice these new skills.
- What was challenging about practicing these skills?
- What was successful?
- What would you do differently next time?
Also, remember that over time, new skills become more natural and second nature to you.
You eventually form habits that feel almost like a reflex. But the REAL secret is that your hard work has simply convinced your brain to operate toward healthier choices. When you get to that stage, you deserve the biggest round of applause. Let us know how you do in the comments below.