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Healthy habits quiz: How to make changes that stick

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Keeping quiet about your new goals helps avoid embarrassing failure

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Keeping quiet about your new goals helps avoid embarrassing failure

  • Your Answer:
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Whether your goal is to quit smoking, lose weight or get fit, going it alone can make it harder than it needs to be. Talking to someone or joining a support group or class can significantly increase your chance of success. People who seek help from the NHS Stop Smoking Service are four times more likely to quit. Get support. If you want to get fit, work out with a friend. If you want to lose weight by eating a healthier diet, share your plan with family and friends to help keep you on track.

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If you have three bad habits it’s best to tackle them by:

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If you have three bad habits it’s best to tackle them by:

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Trying to change too much at once is often a recipe for failure. Pace yourself and take on one habit at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and lapsing back into your old ways. Bear in mind, it took time to develop your bad habits, so it will take time to replace them with healthy habits. Be patient. Slow and steady wins the race.

How many people have stuck to their New Year's Resolutions after 6 months?

How many people have stuck to their New Year's Resolutions after 6 months?

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Research suggests that fewer than half of those (40–46%) who make New Year's resolutions have kept them after 6 months. However, the good news is those who resolve to turn over a new leaf fare a lot better than those who don't make resolutions at all. So it seems the annual tradition of putting your best foot forward is not such a bad idea.

You should prepare for lapses

You should prepare for lapses

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Slipping back into bad habits once in a while is only human. It does not have to signal complete failure. Getting back on the horse is part of the change process and helps you learn from your mistakes. Don't be too hard on yourself, and analyse what went wrong. For example,  if you learn you can’t be around smokers without lighting up yourself, make a plan to avoid those situations and move on.

Rewards are for when you have completely conquered your bad habit

Rewards are for when you have completely conquered your bad habit

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Rewards are not just for passing the finishing line, they are also tools to help you get there. Building rewards into the process of changing your habits can be an excellent motivator. Small rewards, from a piece of chocolate, to a new pair of shoes, can help celebrate short term goals and recognise your progress. Larger rewards, like a holiday or a new piece of jewellery, can celebrate larger goals and keep your eye on the long-term prize of a healthier you.  

If your new habit isn't formed after 21 days, it isn't going to happen.  

If your new habit isn't formed after 21 days, it isn't going to happen.  

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Some people believe a new habit should be cemented by 3 weeks, but some research suggests that's not the case. One UK study found creating a new habit can take an average of 66 days.
Researchers define habits as behaviours which are performed automatically after being performed frequently in the past. Repetition cements the behaviour and makes its happen without needing to think about it. All this takes time, so be patient while your brain absorbs the new routine.

Which of these is a better habit to form?

Which of these is a better habit to form?

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Building a new habit can be much easier than getting rid of an old one. So learning a new strategy such as planning ahead, may be easier to achive than stopping your habit of procrastination. Focusing on positive goals also makes you more likely to succeed.

Curbing a bad habit just once a week can help you stop it for good

Curbing a bad habit just once a week can help you stop it for good

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If you stop doing something for just a short time, it can help boost your ability to quit permanently. Building your confidence by introducing a new habit once a week, is a good way to start. You can then increase your effort by increments, building up from one day to several days and then the entire week.

You have more chance of losing weight by aiming for:

You have more chance of losing weight by aiming for:

  • Your Answer:
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Setting small goals over shorter periods can be easier than setting yourself a large one over a long time. It's easier to get frustrated and give up with big scale challenges. Be realistic and take small steps to achieve the bigger objective. List the steps you are going to take, such as replacing dessert with fruit, for a goal of losing a pound a week. Keeping track of progress also helps and increases your chance of success.

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Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Well done! You have the knowledge to change your ways!

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