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The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

    I’ve tried on several occasions to remove soda pop from my life – or at least curb my reliability on it. While it does give you a sugar and caffeine high, the effects on that front are brief – and the long-term impact on your health certainly isn’t worth it.

    Up until recently, I was drinking several cans per day rather than drinking healthier options like water and milk, and all for the boost of sugar and caffeine that my body craved. But I made a decision that I had to seriously cut back on the habit because I was getting tired earlier in the day, and was beginning to fear diabetes down the line. Whether that fear was founded or not, it was enough to get me started on kicking the soda pop habit.

    I didn’t try just one thing to make it stick, either. I kept a few things in mind in order to keep me on track, since I’d tried to quit drinking soda pop before and had failed each and every time. The longest I’d ever gone was one month – and after that I fell right back into my old ways. So if you’re looking for the best way to kick the soda pop habit, here it is – from someone who’s tried time and time again to do it.

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    Buy a SodaStream

    Having a SodaStream in your arsenal gives you a few advantages in your battle to the kick soda pop habit.

    Firstly, it allows you to control the amount of soda syrup that goes into your soda. That means you can still undulge in a carbonated beverage every once in a while and not get whatever sugary syrup that store bought soda pop has. Secondly, you are being more environmentally friendly in that the bottles that the SodaStream comes with are better for the planet and you won’t be buying bottles and cans from the store filled with soda pop any longer. Finally, you’ll be saving money, as the materials needed to run the SodaStream are less constly than buying conventional soda pop at the supermarket.

    Again, willpower will be one of your biggest allies in this challenge – even with the SodaStream in your corner. Just make sure you get the SodaStream to work for you in this endeavour…and not against you.

    Indulge periodically – but only with the good stuff

    Quitting cold turkey isn’t ideal for any habit you’re trying to break – and when you’re trying to kick the soda pop habit you need to ween yourself off slowly or give yourself permission to indulge every once in a while. I went with the latter this time around, because the former has never seemed to work for me.

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    Why is that? Because by weening myself off slowly I still had the soda pop easily accessible, either at home or when I’d eat out for dinner. I didn’t commit to making it an occasional indulgence – instead I tried to remove it bit by bit, and that wasn’t measureable for me. By removing soda pop for the majority of the time and allowing yourself the opportunity to have some when you’re in a situation where – for example – you may be out somewhere where you may be needed to be the designated driver, you’re not only giving yourself some breathing room in the challenge, but you may find that you really don;t miss soda pop after all.

    Since I kicked the soda pop habit, I’ve had two small bottles of soda. And while I don’t crave it anymore – and I really don’t miss it – I do know that I can now have a glass of it every once in a while and be okay with that.

    Keep coffee and tea close at hand

    I do like my coffee. I drink it black, with no sugar or milk. I like my morning coffee…and maybe drink two cups of the stuff per day. And I’m beginning to get more and more into tea, especially since I largely removed soda pop from my life.

    In fact, if you want to have some replacements for soda pop in your pantry while you attempt to kick the soda pop habit, coffee and tea aren’t bad ones to have.

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    Start juicing

    Before soda pop was part of my diet, juice was. That’s because my parents let me drink juice well before soda pop was in the fridge. Mind you, the juice we had on hand wasn’t exactly the healthiest type out there – and juicing wasn’t something done in my parents’ house. But it is in mine.

    Get yourself a juicer – it doesn’t have to be the most expensive one…there are plenty of lower cost options out there – and start juicing. It is far healthier than any juice you can buy and will do wonders to help you curb your cravings for soda pop.

    Take trips down soda pop aisles in stores

    I have made a point of going to the soda pop aisle each and every time I go to my local grocery store ever since I took on this challenge, and I still do it to this day. I walk down the aisle to remind me of not only where I’ve been with my diet, but also where I won’t be going again.

    Kicking the soda pop habit isn’t easy, especially if you drank as much of it as I had been drinking. But if you are practical about yor approach to the challenge, consistent in what you do to stay on track and take what I’ve offered above as a means to help you take on the challenge, you’ll find that you can indeed kick the soda pop habit not just for a short while…but for good.

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    And isn’t that something worth resolving to do?

    (Photo credit: Yellow Soda Can via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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