Ever find yourself caught in the grip of a vice, knowing that you need to let it go for your own sake? On National Develop Alternative Vices Day, observed every Feb. 9, you can try one of the ways that may help you begin the journey to healthier habits.

A vice, in general, is a habit that's considered to be a "weakness in someone's character." This could be something that's quite obviously unhealthy for oneself such as smoking, gambling or drinking too much alcohol. But sometimes, it could be an undesirable habit that's less obvious such as spending too much money or biting one's nails.

Whatever someone's vice is, big or small, one of the ways that are suggested to help people overcome it is by switching it up with another, less harmful or perhaps even a healthier alternative. That's exactly what National Develop Alternative Vices Day is all about.

But first, one of the key ways to begin one's journey is to actually own it — admit that this habit has become a vice. Be more aware of the effects that it has had on your life and decide that you are actually going to do something about it.

For instance, one can opt to go for another activity if they feel the need to indulge in their vice. Is your vice going through social media for hours on end? Why not pick up an interesting book? If you binge-watch too much TV, try going for a quiet walk instead.

This may also help with vices related to food. For instance, if your vice is eating too much fast food, try beginning your journey away from it by opting for healthier options on the menu instead of your usual ones. Or if you find that you drink too much coffee or eat too much cake, perhaps you can consume less of them or opt for tea and a piece of cookie instead.

The idea isn't to force yourself out of vices and remove all the "fun" but to look for alternative and hopefully healthier habits to have.

Keep in mind that habits aren't just formed in one day, so the change won't happen that easily. Even if you begin today, you would need a sustained effort to truly move away from your old vice and onto less and less harmful ones.

Even though it will not likely be an easy journey, perhaps with a few stumbles on the way, the hope is that these alternative "vices" could start you on your way to healthier habits.

Here are a few quotes that may inspire you to develop alternative vices today. (Courtesy: Good Reads)

  • "Many self-handicapping behaviors are those small, subtle bad habits like being late, gossiping, micromanaging, behaving passive-aggressively or being a perfectionist. We may not recognize these self-defeating — and self-handicapping — traits for what they are. Or we may even wrongly perceive them as strengths. But in truth, they often get in the way of us blooming." – Rick Karlgaard
  • "Losing does not always amount to a loss, sometimes you have to lose those toxic relationships and bad habits to create a space for better things." – Gift Gugu Mona
  • "Life is a daily battle with people and things that are trying to change us and those that are trying to prevent us from changing." – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
  • "Our habits will also slowly wither and die away if we do not give them an opportunity to manifest. You need not fight to stop a habit. Just don't give it an opportunity to repeat itself." – Sri S. Satchidananda
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Pictured: Representation. Thorsten Frenzel/Pixabay