PHOTOGRAPH BY JACOB LUND/THE NOUN PROJECT
“Unhealthy habits often are sandwiched between a trigger and a reward,” says psychiatrist Juan Gonzalez of Desert Wellness Psychiatry. “Try to figure out what triggers that habit. Is it boredom, fear, or stress? What is the reward? Stress relief? Safety? Avoidance? Bringing these elements to conscious awareness helps you choose healthier [behavior].” Fitness coach Jay Nixon believes the way to overcome a bad habit is to replace it with a more powerful, positive habit.
“You might be able to white knuckle it for a while, but that’s not sustainable,” he says. “If someone wants to make a change, I am big on making a declaration to an accountability partner. When you tell another person [what you want to achieve], there’s a higher likelihood of following through than if you keep it to yourself. Get someone involved in your quest.”
Motivation can be fleeting, he adds. “I am more about inspiration. Support and accounting are the linchpins of success.”