Have you ever tried to change some bad habits only to slip up every time you re around your mates? Maybe it s signing up for going Dry in July or implementing a training program for an upcoming fun run only to have it fall to pieces after a big night out with friends. The people around us have a big impact on our behaviour. Sometimes bad habits seem normal when our friends behave the same way we do. It’s easy to downplay the negatives when we are having so much fun. Drinking too much, smoking, using weed or other drugs, bingeing on junk food everyone seems to have their favourite poison.
Getting away from it all: The solution to changing bad habits?
In their efforts to create healthy habits, some people choose to stay at a health retreat so they are motivated to change. Unfortunately when they return to reality, the same triggers or temptations mean they often slide back into their old bad habits. People often make New Year s resolutions when they re on holiday and enjoying a break away from it all and so often feel invigorated and motivated to make positive changes in their lives. Yet when they return to work and their normal lives, they find those healthy habits hard to implement or keep.
It s well known that our friends and familiar environments can drastically influence whether or not we succeed at changing bad habits like quitting smoking tobacco, weed or drinking too much. If all your mates smoke weed and the places you socialise are filled with bongs, weed and other reminders, it s going to be way tougher for you to quit by yourself. But doing it on your own can be hard too.
Example: A new mum struggling to create healthy habits
Quitting bad habits is hard for everyone, no matter if it s weed, junk food or a lack of exercise. Sam, a 28 year old new mum is struggling to create healthy habits now that her baby has arrived. Exhausted from lack of sleep and limited free time has meant she has stopped exercising and snacks on junk food to ‘keep her going’. The problem is, all her friends in mothers group are struggling with the same issues. Now that she hardly sees her old work colleagues, is stuck at home most days and has no babysitter to mind her baby, finding the motivation and time to change these bad habits is tough. Her social life revolves around meeting other mums at caf s or each other s houses for coffee, sweet treats and a chance to relax while the babies play together. What Sam needs to bolster her motivation to create healthy habits is a friend with a baby who is willing to start getting active, going for walks, join mothers and baby s exercise classes and who encourages her to quit her junk food habit!
Quitting weed: helping each other a problem shared is a problem halved!
Like Sam, if you’re trying to change a behaviour such as cutting down or quitting weed, it’s going to be a lot easier if you join forces with a friend. Sharing your quit goal, giving each other support when the going gets tough, challenging each other to stay strong when the cravings hit hard and distracting each other from your old lifestyle, weed smoking friends and hang outs; is the recipe for success. Why do it alone? Help a friend and help yourself. You could even plan a celebration dinner, weekend away or something as crazy as skydiving to reward yourselves once you’ve reached your quit goals!