harmful habits

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Recognise & Change Harmful Habits

Habits or Routines?

There is a saying that individuals have habits, yet if you are talking about groups rather than individuals – well they tend to have routines.  To be fair, it really is just one and the same, the only difference is whether you are alone in your habit, or whether you are in a group, or team where you all share the same routine. But it is important to remember, habits can be harmful for you in the long run.

Have a read of the great book, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. He suggests focusing on one thing you are unhappy with, and changing one habit first, so that it can spread to other behaviours you would like to change. Some of these key habits have the power to start a chain reaction, which in turn, causes or helps, other habits to change as well. These fundamental habits are called keystone habits and can influence many other areas of your life.

Key Priority

First of all you have to focus on a key priority that will help you to make changes in other areas of your lifestyle. Let’s think about weight for example.  Just say you wanted to lose 2 stone and wanted to change your eating habits. This would be your key priority. One of the first things to do would be to alter what you eat. For me, I look at ways of eating healthy, such as choosing whole foods, avoiding processed foods, cutting out sugar, and reducing portion sizes, etc.

Ways to Distract Yourself From Temptation

The next thing I do is to take my mind off eating, and avoid the dangerous moments (coffee breaks with chocolate biscuits for example), would be to do something else instead.  And what could possibly be better than a walk, even if it is a walk around the garden, or around the block, and back. By going on this walk, I will have taken some exercise, however limited it is, nevertheless it is still exercise. The other gain would be that I would have been out in the fresh air, and taken in some vitamin D, at the same time.


Studies show that if you manage to get out in the fresh air, if you manage to take some form of exercise each day, and if you cut down on your unhealthy diet, you will find that you sleep better, and perhaps feel less anxious, and become more productive. It is a bit of a snowball effect, and when you change a keystone habit, such as a bad eating habit, you will find that other unrelated patterns of behaviour has to change as a result of it.

Why don’t you give it a go, try it out for yourself?  I will for sure – it sounds like a real winner to me!  Why don’t you try it for a week, and see how you feel?  Let me know how you get on, and next week I will be looking at developing this idea a step further.

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About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.

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