Happy Little Lift | Beauty, Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Happy Little Lift | Beauty, Travel & Lifestyle Blog
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Saturday, June 7

Baby Steps

If you're anything like me, when you want something, you want it right now! It's not that you're impatient; it's just that you need to shorten your to-do list and would love it if some of the things could just hurry up and be complete. You know, silly little things like 'exercise daily' and 'eat healthily'. It's not that you're unaware that these are ongoing tasks and will never truly be complete as long as you want them to happen, but you just want the habits to kick in already so you don't need to constantly remind yourself that these things need to be done. The problem with habits is that you need to want to do it. You can't just force habits to begin; they build up on their own, like bad habits. Most bad habits start out of boredom or the fact you don't even realise you're doing something until you've done it so much that people label you with it as an annoying trait. If only we could control our habits, people would be able to kick the bad ones and have all the best habits in the world. I have been experimenting with starting habits and I have found that they can start to take shape, with baby steps.

Take 'eating healthily', instead of clearing your cupboards of all the things you love, but know you shouldn't really be eating; try adding healthy foods to your cupboards and leaving your bad habits where they are (for now). Now you have healthy food in the house, every time you reach for a bad habit, see if you can incorporate the healthy food, or even eat the healthy food first, wait 30 minutes and if you still need your bad habit, go for it. Yes, you still have your bad habits, but you've added an extra step - to proceed with your bad habit, you must first complete your new good habit. Eventually, you will start reaching for the good habit first and may not always need to go for your bad habit afterwards.

If you want to incorporate daily exercise into your life, but you just don't have time, you should look at adding an extra step to your regular routine. The one time we can all spare 10 minutes is bed time, because we'll only get in bed and sit on our phones or tablets anyway, right? So, when it comes to getting in bed, instead of jumping straight in, why not tell yourself that you can go to bed once you have done 10 minutes of exercise? Set yourself a little exercise routine - 15 sit ups, 15 press ups, 15 crunches, 15 lunges, 15 squats and 15 jumping jacks. Something to that effect will get you into a good routine and then once you have built the habit to a daily event, you can move the 10 minutes to somewhere else in your day. It is said that exercising in the morning is best for you, but who has time to get out of bed and exercise for 10 minutes when you could have an extra 10 minutes in bed? Once you've built this daily habit of exercise, you will begin to feel your energy levels rising and you will start to feel really good about yourself, so you might actually find that you can spare these 10 minutes on a morning. Why not try it and let us know how you get on? It worked for me!

This method can also be applied to kicking a bad habit. I used to bite my nails, I know, the shame! Anyway, my sister is a nail technician and she painted my nails in different designs weekly for six weeks and during that time, I had to maintain my nails by filing them and applying cuticle oil. By keeping my nails looking nice, it really stopped me wanting to bite them. The difference in my nail growth was amazing and all I had to do after the six weeks was to repaint them weekly. By spending time on making my nails look nice, I took some pride in their appearance and I thought about it every time my hand naturally went to my mouth and I just stopped; I haven't bitten my nails since (over 18 months ago).

I know stopping to bite your nails is much different to trying to stop smoking or something worse, but if you can and you want to quit, why not try adding a condition to your bad habit. Every time you smoke a cigarette, you need to complete an action like brushing your teeth, going for a run or walk or eating a mint. These kind of actions may give you pride in your teeth and breath or even the health of your lungs and make you think about it when you come back and have a cigarette. I know, if it was this easy, then everyone who wanted to quit smoking would be able to; but no one has said that creating a new habit was easy. Why not try it and see if it even helps you to at least cut down?

Do you have any bad habits you wish you could kick? Or new habits you want to start? What about new habits you have already been able to start? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

Kayleigh x

You will only ever come second if you try to be someone else, but you will always win 1st place at being yourself.