Excuse my Breaking Bad reference. But I couldn’t help it.
Breaking Bad Habits. That’s how you build new habits.
Demolish and rebuild.
Start fresh. Which is why the new year is the best time to make changes, New Year’s Resolutions.
OK so most new years resolutions sit at the back of the closet. But that’s only because I’m lazy, and I never took the commitment seriously.
Decide. Commit. Succeed.
To bin the bad habits, I decided to replace them with good habits.
Its an overwhelming task but I made a list of my bad habits:
- I sleep late
- I don’t eat breakfast
- I don’t cook alot
- We order food a lot
- I never exercised in my life
- I worry a lot
- My fridge is always empty
- I don’t eat healthily
- I eat a lot of bread and pasta (carbs)
- I take a lot of Coca cola and sweets (sugar)
- I eat a lot of crisps and ready meats (salt)
- I drink coffee and red bull (stimulants)
- I don’t take my phosphate binders regularly
- I don’t wash my face before I go to bed
- I don’t keep a regular skin care regime
- I use my credit card a lot
- I talk too much about my disability, pains and health problems.
- I don’t have fun hobbies
- I’m short tempered
- I talk alot when I’m nervous
- I don’t have a professional network of inspiring people
- I don’t see my friends enough
Over time I will come back and add to this. But for now, what can I do to change these bad habits? I realised the only solution was to create new ones.
To replace bad habits I need to find a motivator (a trigger) for a good habit.
The most obvious is just my motivator to have a better life, better health, finally follow my dreams. But if I didn’t do it for so long how can I use that as my sole motivator?
Well, one way is to realise how FED UP I finally feel with the negative parts of my life and the more I ignore it the worse it will become. That’s a good motivator! For sure!
But to commit, I find things that are important to me and bring them forward to help me find alternatives to the bad habits.
So, to live a healthier life:
1. I sleep earlier.
My motivation is that I sleep early with my husband by my side in bed, we get to cuddle so I fall asleep relaxed, knowing we will wake up together the next day and I will have the energy to leave the house early with him, and spend our train journey together, rather than wake up late, and leave alone.
My husband is a big motivator. He means a lot to me so any spare time I get with him makes me create better habits. My time with him is my reward.
2. Start eating a healthy full breakfast.
I am a dialysis patient so finding breakfast which is low in phosphate and potassium has been a mission. But I came up with a solution; corn flakes as I am allowed corn or rice based cereals, with organic almond milk as my permitted milk substitute. I have a spoonful of cottage cheese (not sugar!) to help my medicines go down the hatch alongside a handful of grapes and a smidge of herbal tea.
Again my husband is the motivator, as we both know I’m a lazy starter, he brings me breakfast in bed. But I make sure to prepare the night before! I’m not a morning person and I know it. So why push it?
2. Cook more and order in less.
Well to be honest I just have to because if I am to eat better I have to… Just Do It. But again, my husband and I cook together which is far more fun. And when I’m down he steps in. He is a good cook! I’m so lucky. We ordered in the other night – I know shame on you only a few days into the new year! – yes, but we chose a healthy meal. Lemon and herb chicken from Peri Peri chicken, with corn on the cob. See? Always healthy alternatives out there if you search! Nobody is a Saint.
3. Start exercising and release stress of worry.
Two birds with one stone. By exercising I can keep my mind occupied. OK, I can but truth be told I haven’t factored it into my daily plan. Yet. You see, I’m achieving something by eating better. I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t exercise. I will find my motivator, I just haven’t figured it out yet. Some people love the gym and exercise. Im not one of those. What is your motivator? Enlighten me.
Saying that I have more than found ways to release stress and keep my mind occupied. I downloaded Spotify and listen to it every moment I get a chance, on a journey to work or while working at my desk. I haven’t paid attention to the top hits or fallen asleep to a good rock song in years! Music really fills the mind and switches it off. But sometimes I don’t want to switch off, I want to switch on, so I downloaded audible to listen to books. Never was a big reader so this has totally changed my life! Wow… Who knew there was so much out there to learn from books? Everyone! But we are just too lazy to factor a little time in for it.
I also give myself treats. It’s not cheating its just downtime. For me it’s watching Netflix, dive into the next big series. Yes I see that grin, you know what I mean right? And why not? My husband sits contently on the sofa next to me and just sitting there together feels good. Knowing he is there. Its my downtime with him.
4. Stock up the fridge with healthy foods and eat better.
This killing two birds with one stone thing is so productive. I took time to figure out the foods I can eat, the foods I like and the foods I can source. That organic Rude milk was a pain in the backside I can tell you! But with new habits come even newer opportunities. I found out about PrimeNow. Lifesaver! OK granted its stupid with the two baskets… One for Morrisons and one for Amazon and so… It took me 3 hours to order everything correctly! But now I know the silly little annoying rules… I can do it faster and better. Hoorah – again – for just a little patience!
5. Cut out the carbs, sugars, salts and stimulants.
The only motivator to this is just don’t allow it in the house! I fill up my cupboards and fridge with stuff I can eat so I don’t find stuff I can’t eat. Pretty simple really!
There is far more on my bad habits list than I care to analyse. And if you and I had forever I probably would. But for now, I’m content. With my actions in life. I have taken the above 5 steps towards tackling my bad habits and building new ones.
Building a better me, a new character.
Which is more than most people do, sadly.
I will repeat my actions, and persist until habit just becomes a natural reaction in life. Its a good plan.
And I can’t forget that my list is long, but I’m not here to overwhelm my mind with many changes. I have time.
Patience is a virtue.
And so is determination.
I have both. Especially when it means my life will become better.
The Incorrigible Islingtonite