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Heather's Healthy Habits: Building and Breaking Habits

Heather Healy talks with a clinical psychologist on how to make and break habits in 2024.
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 18:04:35-05

WACO, Texas — Heather Healy talks with clinical psychologist, Dr. Kenleigh McMinn, via Facebook live for another installment of Heather's Healthy Habits.

Making and breaking habits can be challenging as we start the new year, but Dr. McMinn gives us tips on to cultivate them to work for our benefit.


As we close out the first month of the year, we look into the actions we’ve made to progress our health journey, and see what’s holding us back.

“Without some kind of challenge, there won’t be change,” said Dr. Kenleigh McMinn, Clinical Psychologist for Baylor Scott & White.

Dr. McMinn sat down via Facebook Live to talk about what habits are and how they shape our everyday lives.

“Some sort of behavior, some sort of step that you’re trying to implement and make part of your daily routine — it doesn’t have to be everyday, but something you’re doing intentionally and something that you’re doing on a daily basis,” Dr. McMinn said.

When starting a good habit, just remember to be smart about it.

"That means it’s specific, measurable, achievable, it’s relevant, and that it’s timely or time-limited,” Dr. McMinn said.

Now when it comes to habits you need to say goodbye to, there’s two things to keep in mind:

“One school of thought is to kind of ween yourself from a habit. I’m going to use smoking cigarettes for an example — some people try to take steps to reduce the amount of that they’re smoking, so if someone’s smoking one pack a day and their goal is to quick they’ll go I’m going to reduce to one or two cigarettes per day," Dr. McMinn said.

"Then the other side of that is the people who are kind of more absolute go cold turkey for a lack of a better term, when you say 'Okay, my goal is to do this thing, so I’m just going to stop, hard stop'."

Whether making, or breaking healthy habits, make sure to keep one thing in the center of it all.

“Identifying what’s important to you and why,” Dr. McMinn said.