How to Change Unhealthy Habits

If you want to change unhealthy habits, you must change your beliefs. Our beliefs are what create our reality, our actions and our habits.

ChangeTo truly blossom and change we must hold expansive beliefs about ourselves.

Often we are stuck in negative thoughts and we don’t even realize it. I catch myself sometimes thinking thoughts like, “Oh, I can’t do that. I don’t have time. I am too tired.” These thoughts keep me stuck and stop me from moving forward into more positve possibilities.

The restricting thoughts are based in deeper restricting beliefs (I call weeds). When we have thoughts such as: “I can’t do that. I’ll never … It won’t work.” etc, we are keeping ourselves stuck in unhealthy habits and stuck in repeating the same actions over and over. So, of course, we see the same things show up in our life. We keep creating the same things, since what we are able to create and manifest in our life is a direct result of what we are believing and thinking.

Just noticing the restricting thought pattern is a big step. Most of the time we are just thinking the restricting thoughts repeatedly (which turn into weeds and strangle the light out of our life). We believe them, and then of course, we feel hopeless, sad, etc.

To change your habits/actions, change your thoughts.

Here’s how:

  1. Acknowledge it. Notice the restricting thought when it pops into your awareness. Take time to be quietly with yourself. Just 2 minutes a day in the morning, at lunch time or at night before bed, will make a bit difference.
  2. Capture it. To change a thought you must capture it. That means you must notice it and write it down. Now it is concrete. You can look at it and work with it.
  3. Question it. Ask some questions such as, “How does this make me feel?” “When might I have begun (or first started) thinking this way?” “Is it even true/useful?”
  4. Transform it. Write down your response to this: “How do I want to feel regarding this subject (whatever this thought is about)?”
    What new, uplifting thought will support or create that feeling for me?
    Write down that new thought. Place it where you can see it often. Repeat it to yourself before you fall asleep and when you first wake up.
Copyright 2011 Rena Hatch

What do you think? What thoughts are holding you back from creating your dreams? What thoughts are keeping you stuck? How have you tried to change unhealthy habits? Please share your thoughts below.

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13 comments to How to Change Unhealthy Habits

  • Renee

    Rena, so much of this should be innate and it’s just buried below layers of trying to live the normal and productive life that we are taught to live, which really isn’t normal or productive at The restricting thoughts I often encounter are just patterns that become engrained. But all of the sudden when we don’t allow them to override each day, you feel lighter, new people enter your life and things seem a bit more doable….not always but for spurts when they are allowed to enter…

    • Renee, you are so right! The restricting thoughts we have do become engrained patterns. When we acknowledge, capture, question and transform them, we can feel so much better.
      Thank you for sharing what happens for you. It is so inspiring to me and to other readers, I’m sure, to hear that you feel lighter and new people enter your life and things seem more doable. That is fabulous!
      When we allow ourselves to blossom, it’s amazing what happens, isn’t it?


  • Well, if you appreciated that, you might like this as well… I must admit, I hesitate sharing this, like many things that come to me, because it’s kinda “out there,” ha. But that’s just my world, I see the “magic” all around me–all the time. And just now as I was reading your response, a teeny-tiny little gnat landed on my computer screen. I immediately felt it intuitively, and said to it without hesitation, “Show me.” And it continued to crawl, quickly moving toward my post above. Here’s what it crawled across before leaving the screen:

    “Beloved”…”zeroed(in on)”…”(the?)”…”resistance”…”positive changes”…”huge impact”

    Amazing, huh? Such a blessing to pick up on such things. My heart wants to explode a little bit with the “beloved” reference :)


  • Loving how synchronous this is. The other evening, I hopped onto Twitter feeling awful, just zapped out from my worn-out old patterns, pit-bull resistance. And the first thing I noticed was a tweet about a show called “Weeds.” The phrase I honed in on was “Season 3 of Weeds.” The Tarot is my passion, and one the cards we Tarot enthusiasts wince at drawing is the 3 of Swords. It represents pain and loss, it can represent anger and separation–just an all-around icky card. In that vein, I zeroed in on “3 of Weeds,” feeling the Universe was speaking this to me in my language. I told that tweet author (also a Tarot enthusiast) that I saw it as a watered down version of our “beloved” 3 of Swords, ha. That is, not as potent, just a low-grade, almost indefinable feeling of yuck… And then seeing your reference to “weeds” was a ping-ping moment for me :)

    Acknowledge(notice it), Capture(write it), Question(how does it make u feel?), Transform(how do u wanna feel?) = ACQT = “Act” :)

    Thank you,

    • Dove!

      Oh I love it when synchronous things happen. It’s as if the universe or our higher self is sending us a huge sign! Thank you for sharing your ping-ping moment. I’m so honored to read your comment. Yes, the ACQT = ACT glad you noticed that!

      Please stop by often and share your thoughts and wisdom.

      With gratitude,

  • This changing of negative thought patterns is something I have been working on with sincerity in recent months. It takes perseverence to undo years of unhealthy thinking. Unfortunately, chronic, almost daily migraines have gotten in the way of much of my can-do-it-tiveness. Nonetheless, I am really enjoying the times of day when the headaches are in the background, and I am living in the now. Thank you Rena

    • Andrea,
      My heart goes out to you. I use to have migraine headaches that got in the way of my daily life. Shifting my thought patterns had a huge impact on my health and my headaches. It sounds like you are making progress. I love how you say your are ‘living in the now’. That is soooo vital in making positive changes. I agree that i takes perseverance to change our thought patterns. And, each effort and each tiny step forward is movement in the positive direction.
      Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and truth with us Andrea!

      Warm wishes,

  • The most difficult thoughts to change are the ones we are not aware of, or lie buried beneath emotion. The process you suggest is such a good way to track them down and get them out in front of ourselves. This exercise is an amazing process. Thanks for reminding me of it.

    • Dorothy,
      You are so right! Those buried thoughts beneath and behind the emotions are challenging to dig up. The exercise is something I’ve used with myself and my clients. It’s a powerful way to get unstuck! I know I can always use a little helpful reminder. ; )

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Dorothy.


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