If you're like most people, you're often tempted by gorgeous, mouth-watering, nutrient-poor "treats"--dazzling donuts, colorful cereals or sugary soda.
As if that wasn't enough, many of you succumb to other enticements. For instance, you may skimp on sleep; excessively drink coffee, alcohol or soda; think negatively; smoke cigarettes; procrastinate; and obsessively text or send emails.
As I mentioned on my companion YouTube video, it's certainly understandable if you feel the urge to overindulge or engage in counter-productive pursuits. Wherever you go and wherever you live, you're relentlessly bombarded and seduced by unhealthy foods, substances and activities.
But I invite you to look inside and decide: Do you feel trapped by your sugar habit, late bedtimes or another bad habit (what I call a babit™)? And are you plagued by baffling health issues such as annoying weight gain, ferocious headaches or even type two diabetes? (As you'll soon learn, there's a connection between your bad habits and those health issues.)
You may feel weak and low on self control when it comes to your horrible habits. But I'm here to reassure you. You can escape from the prison of a bad habit. In fact, I respectfully challenge you now: Get out from under your bad habits (babits™) so that you can have a life that rocks!
Of course, you may wonder "What's In It For You" (WIFY) if you overcome your bad habits. As millions can attest, you will benefit in many ways.
For instance, when you give up unhealthy tendencies such as overdoing it on sugar, not getting enough sleep or consuming too much coffee, you can expect to get more energy, concentrate better, lose weight, become more productive and have better relationships.
What's more, as many of my clients have delightedly shared with me, if you just cut out sugar and refined carbs, you even may be able to boost your libido. Likewise, once you get enough zzz's, you may have more energy and interest in bedroom action with your honey.
Now, let me share my ABC's to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction, Sleep Skimping and Other Bad Habits (Babits™). See my companion YouTube video in which I share some of these tips.
Here's the complete rundown:
A is for Assume & Accept.
Just assume and accept that just about wherever you go, you'll be tempted, no matter what your bad habit.
For instance, your favorite aunt will nudge you to eat her favorite chocolate cake. You have to pass that vending machine at work. Inevitably, you'll be taunted by candies galore while purchasing sundries at the local drug store.
In addition, your computer, television set or video games may "call out" to you late at night so you end up sitting in front of them instead of getting at least seven hours of sleep.
But if you assume that you'll inevitably be teased by unhealthy "treats," you can prepare by always having healthy, delicious snacks on hand to munch instead -- such as edamame (soy nuts), pumpkin seeds, hard-boiled eggs and sugar-free crackers or an apple (preferably organic) with sugar-free almond butter.
And if you assume that late every night, you'll be tempted to catch up on emails, watch your favorite TV shows via DVR or try to beat your previous record on your favorite video games, you can start to turn off your appliances earlier every night (say 6, 7 or 8 pm) so that you'll get into bed at a reasonable time.
B is for Breathe & Bless
Whenever you're confronted by your bad habit, just breathe before you do anything.
Yes, you can breathe away your desire for your drug of choice, whether it's a sugar habit or burning the midnight oil. First, breathe with gratitude that you can still breathe, because if you continue overindulging in sweets and refined carbs or not getting enough zzz's, your breath may get cut short by obesity, cancer, heart disease or type two diabetes.
Next, if you can, set a timer and then just focus on your breath for at least 10 minutes (i.e. meditate) before you stick anything unhealthy into your mouth, stay up too late or do anything else self-destructive. After relaxing during your healthy time out, you may find that your unhealthy desires have subsided. You'll find, much to your joy, that cravings do disappear after a few minutes.
Now, bless your habit. This may feel like a strange suggestions, but think about it. Your horrible habit could be just what you NEED to jump start your growth.
When you accept and confront your self-destructive patterns, you can begin to grow, heal and gain control of your life.
In fact, your bad habit can be your springboard to a new life. It can move you to a better place. When you break your bad habit such as sugar over consumption, caffeine addiction or sleep deprivation, you can become happier, healthier and trimmer.
In other words, your bad habit isn't a problem--it is an incredible opportunity. And when you make that attitude adjustment or brain switch, you're taking a big leap toward kicking your counter-productive patterns.
C is for Choose and Connect
Now I invite you to realize that you can choose. You see, Take a moment I invite you to dwell on the fact that the greatest freedom we have as human beings is the ability to choose. (We discussed this fabulous concept in my iPEC life coaching school.)
No matter what we do, we're always making a choice. Even when you fall prey to that calorie-laden donut, you have to choose between glazed or cinnamon or chocolate.
And when you stay up too late and neglect to get your beauty sleep, you're choosing, too.
But just as you can choose to do something unproductive such as eating something sugary or neglecting to get sufficient sleep, you also can choose to break free!
It's time then to choose wisely, with your best interests in mind.
• First, choose to learn about the dangers of your bad habit, whether you're hooked on sugar, late nights, coffee, diet soda, cigarettes, alcohol or video games.
• Find out how your habit may cut your life short and make everything you do less enjoyable.
• Start by reading some eye-opening books. For example, if sugar is your challenge, check out my book, SUGAR SHOCK! Or, if getting enough shut-eye is your worst habit, then Paul McKenna's book I Can Make You Sleep: Overcome Insomnia Forever and Get the Best Rest of Your Life! can open your eyes--or should I say, shut them.
• If burning the candle at both ends is your worst habit, then read Self Magazine's scary sleep findings, get Self's tips to snooze more or find out about the latest sleep information at the Sleep Association website . Next, read the Huffington Post's Sleep Challenge from HuffPost's Arianna Huffington and Glamour's Cindi Leive and other sleep articles from fellow Huffington Post bloggers.
• Next, choose to stop consuming empty-calorie, nutrient-lacking, fake foods and drinks. And choose to refrain from other counter-productive activities such as late-night TV watching. In other words, stop treating your body like a piece of trash or garbage dumpster.
• Then, start to choose real, colorful, nourishing, fiber-rich foods or earlier bedtimes. By doing that, you'll be treating your body with the love, respect and compassion it deserves.
• While you're at it, also choose other soul-nourishing activities such as reading books like Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life or Cheryl Richardson's The Art of Extreme Self-Care.
Remember, when you choose quality foods, thoughts and activities, you'll boost your energy and moods and become happier and healthier.
Finally, it's time to Connect.
• Begin by connecting with your Serene Smartie or Inner Smartie. It knows what foods and activities your body, heart and soul need.
• Next, connect with other people, who are also kicking their bad habits. In addition, find a buddy so you can mutually support each other along the way. Perhaps one of the best ways to find others in the same boat as you is to go online. For instance, if you'd like to meet other sleep-deprived people, visit SleepNet's list of support groups..
• Finally, connect with us for tactics, encouragement and inspiration to kick your any bad habits. You can interact with us in several ways. You can ask questions and get Smart-Habit-of-the-Day Tips on my Smart Habits Fans page on Facebook, post comments here on my Huffington Post blog and on my Sugar Shock Blog, and make contact with others in my supportive virtual Stop Sugar Shock Ning community, which I co-host with fellow certified life coach James Hahn II. You also can follow me on Twitter, where I'm known as the Smart Habits Girl. If you're a sugar addict, you also can connect with me at my website (www.SugarShock.com), where you can get lots of FREE STUFF such as a Sugar Shock Quiz, a Sugar-Free Shopping List, a free subscription to my Motivating Morsels Ezine and a peek of my book SUGAR SHOCK!
To refresh your memory, here's your action plan to help you begin to overcome your unhealthy habits and practices.
1. Do my ABC's to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction, Sleep Skimping & Other Bad Habits (Babits™).
2. Connect with other people online, who are also committed to kicking their bad habits (babits).
I have complete faith in you even if you don't have faith in yourself. You can break free of your addiction to sugar, late nights, caffeine or another bad habit.
I politely challenge you now. Start your new life today. Let me assure you. You can have a much sweeter life without refined sweets, excessive late nights and other bad habits (babits™).
When you cut loose from your horrible habits, you will free up lots of time and energy so that you can accomplish your goals and dreams.
I hope to see you soon on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SmartHabitsFans). And please let me know your thoughts here on my Huffington Post Blog about this article. How did it help you?
Please watch my companion YouTube video now to get educated, empowered and entertained as you learn about My ABC's to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction, Sleep Skimping & Other Bad Habits.
In my YouTube video -- which was a submission to a Hay House Movers & Shakers contest -- you may enjoy hearing about my sad-to-sour sugar tale.
And you'll laugh or at least chuckle, I hope, at the surprise ending as you begin to free yourself from the babits™ (bad habits) which hold you back.