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How to Change Unhealthy Behaviors

Updated on April 3, 2015
Picture of Woman Smoking
Picture of Woman Smoking | Source

Many people do find themselves indulging in some forms of unhealthy habits, but just can't seem to quit. Such habits could be anything ranging from excessive drinking, heavy smoking, compulsive gambling, a sedentary lifestyle etc. The point is, these individuals will not initiate a change in such unhealthy habits, unless they first acknowledge that they do have a problem!

After acknowledging this problem, he/she may then initiate changes which will eventually lead to the ridding of the undesirable habit or behavior. Below are a few tips that may be used to help initiate change. You may begin by asking yourself the following questions:

1.How long do I want to live?

2.How do I want to live the rest of my life?

3.What type of health do I want to have?

4. What are the things I want to be able to do when I get to the age of 65 and older

5.Do I want to live to see all my children grown up?

6.Am I hurting or causing anyone pain?

7. How many people have I known already died as a result of the same thing that I am doing?

8. How many friends or family members I know are currently battling with an illness that is directly related to my unhealthy habit?

9.What are the benefits in this for me?

10. What is preventing me from at least trying?

If for example, one of your main goals is to live long --- specifically to the age of 65 and beyond, and would like to be in a good physical condition when you get to that age bracket; this should be at least one good reason you should want to initiate quitting drinking or smoking, and start eating right and exercising, on a regular basis. You may also want to avoid going places or being around people who encourage this unhealthy habit, for a while. Better yet, it would be a good idea if you could at least try to be in the company of others who are supportive of your desire to quit your self-destructive habit or habits.


Human-beings are creatures of habits, and although It usually takes us quite a while to develop our habits(good or bad ones), once we get comfortable with these habits, over time it becomes a routine which we may find very hard to give up. One of the reasons we fail each time we try to quit our bad habits is because we often tend to take the wrong approach.

For example, you cannot try to quit a habit you have developed over a five years period in one week --- this is unrealistic. You should instead, try to make small manageable realistic goals. Say you are used to smoking one pack of cigarettes each day, and your intended goal is to quit smoking totally. Try to cut this one pack down to half of a pack per day, initially.

No doubt, it might be a struggle in the very beginning. However, whenever you are able to achieve this goal, set your next goal to a quarter of a pack per day, gradually cutting down until you are able to achieve your intended goal. Whatever you do always try to stay focus on the positive outcome.

(c)Copyright: I.McFarlane


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    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 5 years ago from Philadelphia

      Tonipet,I agree with you. If someone can at least give me one extra advice or recommendation to help me to live longer that's good enough!

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 5 years ago from The City of Generals

      Even for at least one good reason why you should want to initiate a good change in unhealthy habits, is enough to get more years into your life. I'm voting up!