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Surrey Habit Change Challenge

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Thank you for your support in Substance Use Awareness Week (May 29 – June 4, 2016) and for taking part in the Surrey Habit Change Challenge!  The challenge contest has now closed.

The Habit Change Challenge is a chance for you to reduce or eliminate a habit, create a healthier lifestyle, and gain understanding about substance use and people struggling with addictions.

How it works:

1. Choose a habit you want to reduce or eliminate that has negatively affected your health, finances and/or time (i.e. smoking, gambling, gaming). Alternatively, you could choose to develop a healthy habit that would benefit you (i.e. drinking more water, exercising each day).

Choosing a habit to change may be difficult. There are usually things we like about our habits so the key is to really take the time to think about how it affects you. Ask yourself:

  • Does this habit create more problems than benefits?
  • Does this habit improve my life or take away from it?

2. Follow the steps on how to add, reduce or eliminate a habit to get started.

3. Register anytime between now and May 29 to take the challenge and take the pledge to be entered into a prize draw.

4. Then use #SryHabitChange to share your challenge progress on twitter and instagram from May 29-June 4, 2016. For each progress update you will receive an extra entry into the prize draw.


PRIZES will include Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards and City of Surrey items.

Don't forget to have fun! Challenge your parents, children, siblings, teachers, co-workers and teammates to see if they can add, reduce or eliminate a habit of their own.

Please see the contest rules for more information.

How to add, reduce or eliminate a habit:

  • Get clear about your reasons. Take a moment to connect with what this habit change means to you. Why this matters to you provides you with motivation.
  • Pick a date to start and commit to it. The Surrey Habit Change Challenge begins May 25, 2014!
  • Plan for some withdrawal. Withdrawal means our bodies and minds are adjusting to the absence of something they had become accustomed to. Withdrawal can be experienced even for behavioural habits, like the feeling of missing a mobile device or a day of headaches without caffeine.
  • Surf the waves of cravings. Cravings only last a few minutes and will come and go throughout the day. Over time, the craving will become weaker and easier to surf.
  • Develop alternatives to the habit. It’s easier to stay focused on a more positive path than to keep trying to avoid an old one.
  • Watch for situations and moods that might trigger a desire for the old behaviour and have a plan for it. Develop a new routine for breaks at work, healthy ways to unwind at home and ways to enjoy social occasions differently. This helps with challenging situations where you could get caught off guard and fall back into your old routine.
  • Reward yourself for the changes you've made. This reinforces the change and helps to sustain it as your new normal.
  • Take a moment to think about your change process. What did it take to accomplish it? What got in the way of accomplishing it?


The Substance Use Awareness Team creates and updates educational facts yearly. See the 2016 fact sheets.