What to do if you let bad habits slip

What to do if you let bad habits slip

We all make mistakes, and that’s absolutely fine! This week, I’ve invited the amazing Emily from Love, Em to write something on Mind and Body Intertwined about what you can do if you let a bad habit slip back into your life. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Building good habits can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to overcome bad ones too. Sometimes we let the bad habits slip, but that’s okay! We can maintain healthy habits all of the time. For example, even those who eat healthily and workout throughout the week enjoy a lazy junk food day! You don’t need to feel guilty if you slip up or struggle to keep good habits. Here’s what to do when you let bad habits return and how to stop it from happening again! 

What are bad habits?

Bad habits range on a scale. For some, a bad habit could be leaving dirty clothes on the floor. For others, it may be more personal and harmful. Everyone has bad habits, so don’t feel bad if you have any. Many of us will strive to set new year’s resolutions to combat these issues. Others will give it up for lent. Bad habits are things that aren’t beneficial to our health or productivity. 

Why Do We Let Bad Habits Come Back?

Everyone has their guilty pleasures, and sometimes it’s hard to break them. For many people, giving up a habit is temporary. Some resort to their bad habits is that they haven’t taken them out of their lifestyle. For example, a bad habit could be eating excessive junk food. At first, you may go on a healthy diet, but after a month, you’ve put on any weight you’ve lost. You may still have bad habits in your lifestyle by purchasing junk food or keeping it in your cupboard. If you go cold turkey, you don’t have a chance to develop better habits. You also need to be motivated to make a change. If you love your chocolate but aren’t ready to give it up, you’ll probably be eating more of it in the end!

Don’t Feel Guilty

It’s easy to blame and hate yourself for slipping up. This is one of the worst things to do. If you shame yourself for making a mistake, you may be put off from trying again. It’s not healthy to hate yourself for a bad habit. Breaking bad habits is a process, and you will likely slip up. Don’t feel bad about this. After all, it’s all about how you overcome the challenges. If breaking habits were easy, we would all be perfect beings! 

When you’re ready to try again, tell yourself that minor slip-ups are normal. Remind yourself of everything you’ve achieved when you’ve been overcoming things. For example, if you’re trying to save more money, you could open up a limited-access savings account. If you’re not ready to reduce your spending, you could always create a side hustle to fund your habit! That way, you can save from your salary and only spend what you make on the side hustle. It is really motivating to do! 

Identify What Caused A Slip-Up

If you’ve made a mistake, then retrace your steps. Learning what caused the problem can prevent it from happening again. Maybe you had an emotional day, and you needed something comforting? Perhaps the people you surround yourself with aren’t supporting and influenced you. When you find the issue, you can avoid it in the future. Unfortunately, you can’t shut out everything. Instead, you should try to develop ways to stop it from triggering you. Binge eating was a big issue for me, so I would get my snacks out the night before. Once I had eaten them, I couldn’t have any more. This way, I could still pick what I wanted, but I wasn’t overeating. 

Everyone will have a trigger, but it can be hard to identify. To help you, you could always speak to a trusted loved one. Close friends may be able to help you pick apart where it went wrong. It’s also nice to have a second opinion! Make sure it’s someone you trust, as no one likes admitting to mistakes and problems. 

Set Smaller, Manageable Goals

It’s easy to set big end goals, but we don’t always think about how we will get there. One of the reasons people slip up is because they take on too much. To avoid it happening in the future, create a clear plan to beat your habit. Pick your big goals, and then decide on smaller steps that you should take to reach them. You could set your goals in a few ways:

  • Break your habit into smaller steps, and don’t put on a time frame. That way, you can progress at your own pace, and there is no pressure.
  • Break your habit into smaller steps and choose to work on one mini-goal each month/week. Once you’ve hit your goal for the month, continue to develop it. Don’t start the next one as you need to give your habit time to form. 
  • Choose a few things to integrate into your lifestyle rather than have it as a task to work towards. For example, if you want to get more active, your family could go on a walk every Sunday. 

Integrate Your Goal Into Your Lifestyle

Habits are lifestyle-related things. You form them in your everyday life. To recover from a slip, you need to create better habits and use them in your daily life. Building good habits into your routine will help you avoid slipping in the future. It’s widely debated how long a habit takes to form. I’ve heard 28 days, 66 days and even 254. Either way, you need to stick to your habit for a while before it becomes natural. Building it into your routine is one of the easiest ways to do this. For example, if you want to eat healthier, you should create a meal and snack routine. Plan your meals ahead of time, only purchase healthy snacks and eat at regular times. If you’re able to get the whole family involved, it can motivate you to form new habits too! 

Everyone has bad habits, but that’s okay! Sometimes it’s good to have something you want to work on. Bad habits are difficult to overcome, but you’ll feel amazing once you’ve developed something better. Everyone slips up, and it’s easy to make mistakes, but don’t let that put you off. Keep persevering, and soon you’ll develop healthy habits that you want in your lifestyle! What bad habits are you trying to get rid of? I’d love to hear what you’re doing to keep the bad ones at bay! 

About the guest writer

Emily is a mental health, personal finance and development blogger from the UK! Love, Em has been running for a year alongside her accounting apprenticeship! You’ll find posts about sustainability, blogging and money on her corner of the internet! If you want to say hello, you can find Emily on the links below!

Blog – www.loveemblog.com

Twitter – LoveEm_Blog

Instagram – LoveEm.Blog

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and if you did, please check out Emily and subscribe to both our blogs to get more content to help you move forward in life!

Lots of love,

Lisa

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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

20 Comments on “What to do if you let bad habits slip

  1. Amazing guest post! “Don’t feel guilty” is the best advice for me. When I am trying to create a new habit and slip up, I find that guilt can be my biggest downfall. I can make myself feel so bad that I just give up. I’m slowly getting better though.
    Thanks for sharing this great reminder!

    • It’s such a tricky thing. It’s normal to be a little bit down about it, but it shouldn’t cause you to quit entirely! Hope you’ll find a way to forgive yourself more easily 😊

  2. These are great tips! Sometimes (well, actually pretty often) it’s hard not to beat ourselves when bad habits are back, but we’re humans! We must work on them, and understand that anything is possible!

  3. It’s so important to know that one tiny slip up isn’t the end. We all make mistakes and identifying WHY you had that slip is really useful! Great post 🙂 x

  4. This was a really interesting guest post. I liked the fact that it acknowledged bad habits mean different things to different people. I know I am definitely guilty of trying to fix all my bad habits at once so I will be using some of the tips from this post.

  5. This was such a needed read! I always feel guilty when I get back to bad habits, but as you said it’s a learning curve and a mistake doesn’t define you!| Setting smaller and more achievable goals is a great tip! Thank you for sharing x

  6. Hmm I always feel guilty if I accidentally let myself slip when it comes to not working out or eating as healthy as I should- but the important thing to do is to not beat yourself up, and try hard to get back on track x

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