Thursday, March 29, 2007

Breaking a bad habit!

Top 10 Ways to Break a Bad Habit
by Chris Adams,

Putting good ergonomic principles to work in your life requires you breaking some bad habits you've gotten into. However you can not institute a good habit if a bad one already exists.

Think of your brain as a mud bogging race. The easiest path is the one that is already there. If that path is not the most efficeint one it is almost impossible to get out of it if the ruts are deep (that's the bad habit). You have to fill them in completely then start a new rut to guide you on the efficient path (that's the good habit).

So you need to break the bad habit before you can start a good one. Here's how you do that.

1) Challenge Yourself
So, you might be living healthy and feeling good, but chances are there is a bad habit or two that you would like to change. Do not be afraid to challenge yourself. You can do it.
2) Make Your Intention Clear
Zero in on the behavior that you would like to change. For example, deciding to change computer mouse use to your left hand is much more focused than just deciding to use your right hand less.
3) Know the Benefits
Make a list of all the good reasons to break the habit and use this as a list of things to fight for when you feel like giving up. Maybe you are seeking pain relief from a repetitive stress injury by changing a behavior that you believe is causing the pain. Pain relief is a real and very desirable benefit and a great incentive.
4) Take Action
Set yourself up for success by taking immediate action to change your behavior. Go ahead and move that mouse to the left hand side of the computer so the next time you sit down, you will be ready to click.
5) Eliminate Excuses
Take steps during your downtime to eliminate excuses during your more hectic times. High stress times are also high risk times to fall back into your comfortable routine. For example, if you are committed to going to the gym right after work, put your workout clothes in the car the night before.
6) Enlist Help
Tell those people around you what you are trying to do. Co-workers and family members can help you recognize when you are slipping. Although this feedback is not always welcome, accountability is key to recognizing when you are not on track for success.
7) Track Your Progress
Keep careful note of your progress and if you are experiencing and of the benefits. If pain reduction is your goal, use the visual analog pain scale to record your pain levels each week. After a few weeks of hard work, you might need to see something to keep you going. Progress is an awesome incentive to keep going.
8) Do Not Give Up
If you slip, don’t throw your plan away. Just move on and keep going. Failure is only a reality when you stop trying.
9) Reward Yourself
While accomplishment is a reward itself, a tangible reward such as a new ergonomic office chair (can you say Aeron?), will certainly feel good as well.
10) Keep It Up
When you have succeeded, it will be easy to let your guard down. Changes in environment and routine can slowly bring bad habits back into your life. These are the times to be vigilant and make sure they don’t creep back into your daily routine.

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