Major life transitions can turn your world upside down in the blink of an eye, but they can also provide an opportunity to evaluate your life and change it for the better. If you are facing a tough time that requires significant changes, you may want to use this transition to eliminate bad habits that are holding you back and develop positive ones to improve your well-being.

Find new payoffs and be realistic about triggers

Habits are powerful and it can feel uncomfortable to let go of bad ones that you have had for a long time. Habits are formed after plenty of repetition that brings rewards, and even bad habits have rewards. One of the keys to ditching those and sticking with better, healthier habits is to make sure that your new ones have payoffs too.

Sticking to healthier habits is challenging unless you’re realistic about what needs to change. If you are facing financial difficulties, you need to evaluate your spending and make difficult decisions about what to eliminate. When you are ending a toxic relationship, it’s vital that you recognize the issues in the partnership and believe that you deserve better.

Know your triggers with bad habits and identify positive things to do instead. Reader’s Digest recommends replacing an afternoon caffeinated soda with tea, or turn off the television at night and listen to an audiobook while on the treadmill instead. Give yourself the opportunity for the payoff you seek, whether that be relaxation, reward, or escape, but do it in a healthier way.

Keep changes simple and achievable

Simplify the changes ahead to better ensure long-term success. Don’t push yourself to start exercising intensely seven days a week if you have been sedentary for a while. Instead, set your goal to take a simple walk after dinner as often as you can or avoid unhealthy late-night snacking by getting your trigger foods out of the house and making fruit accessible instead.

Inc. suggests that if you make the easiest thing to do in challenging situations also the healthiest thing, you are setting yourself up for positive progress. This may be as simple as doing kitchen prep work over the weekend so that you have quick meals available during the week. If your spending is a problem, leave your credit or debit card at home and use a cash budget so you only spend what’s available.

Reduce stress and get rid of items tied to bad habits

Stress plays a significant role in maintaining bad habits, as it reduces your self-control. Look for healthy ways to manage your anxiety and head off bad decisions before they are made. Practice self care during big transitions and make time for quality sleep. Avoid people who amp up your stress levels and don’t beat yourself up for mistakes made along the way.

Just as you need to ditch the junk food to eat healthier, Wise Bread details that you need to declutter and dispose of items connected to bad habits in order to move forward. For example, get rid of the mementos from your toxic ex that tug at your heartstrings. Put things you own that are connected to stressful family relationships in storage for a while as you focus on improving your own health.

Building a healthier life is achievable if you get serious about the changes needed. Identify your bad habits and why you have embraced them and form a plan for incorporating healthy choices instead. Clear out reminders of what has been holding you back and keep things simple as you move through a major life transition toward a more positive future so you can be your best self.

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