Bad habits. They creep up on you, enticing you to do something you feel a little guilty about. Because it’s not like you do it all the time. And somehow, before you know it, this “occasional” pleasure has become a fixed part of your life.
One of the most addictive unhealthy habits is smoking. You knew that smoking was bad for you, yet you began it anyway – because you were young, or because you were dieting, or because you’re a sucker for subliminal advertising, etc. It does not really matter why the habit starts, it matters that it is now a habit.
Perhaps one of the worst things about trying to quit a bad habit is the feeling that it is too late. Once a bad habit has been perpetrated long enough, the damage can often be felt and/or seen. Yet as a recent study about women quitting smoking shows, it is never too late to overcome a bad habit, but the results are often well worth the effort.
Women who quit smoking by age 30 only lost about a month from their lifespan due to the bad habit, while women who quit smoking by age 40 only lose approximately a year. These findings are amazing, since women who retain the habit of smoking for their entire life tend to lose approximately 10 years from the habit.
Ten years is a lot of time. A person changes a lot in 10 years – makes many memories, learns from many mistakes, learns to use the latest social network, etc.
Ten years is worth giving up a habit that will clog up your lungs, and possibly make the end of your life painful and miserable, anyway.
Yet keeping in mind the reasons why you want to give up a bad habit are not necessarily what you need to do. It might be more important to keep in mind that it is not too late to make a positive change for yourself. If your bad habit is smoking, you now know that it is important and will likely prolong your life if you quit now. Even if the bad habit you need to work on is something different, however, the same message applies: Take it one day at a time, starting today, and keep in mind that it is not too late to change this habit and make a significant change in your life for the better.