A study released this week found that more than 100,000 cancers in the UK - one third of the country's total diagnosed each year - are caused by smoking, unhealthy diets, alcohol, and excess weight, an epidemiologist involved in the study said we have control over such habits.

“After looking at all the evidence, it’s clear that around 40 per cent of all cancers are caused by things we mostly have the power to change,” said Max Parkin, a researcher with Cancer Research UK based at Queen Mary, University of London.

But “change” doesn’t necessarily come easy and although we have the power we may not have the motivation.

So how do we find that motivation?

Fitness enthusiast and motivator, Nicole Chaplin, told Medical Daily about some ways to alter bad habits that lead to some cancers and why we have control over them.

Chaplin noted in an e-mail interview that some cancer cases are preventable, but added that we choose to bring damaging substances into our body.

She said many factors such as “home/work environment, family history, stress level, mental health and spirituality play into effect on why some people may turn to outside substances or abuse of them which in turn can deteriorate their overall health.”

She said that for some people, the lifestyle they’re living can be linked with problems they experience.

“The lifestyle that some people are living is a direct reflection of a deep issue they may be experiencing that needs attention and correction.”

To change, Chaplin advises discovering a motivation and pursuing it.

“Everyone has something that drives them, something that they enjoy doing,” said Chaplin.

She said that it’s best to discover what that drive is and “work towards obtaining it or living it out as much as possible.”

“The healthier we are the more likely we will be able to live the life we desire,” she said.

Chaplin explained that some people find motivation by watching others who have succeeded in the same areas that they are struggling in, which can provide them with hope.

She said that by doing this they will have “proof that if others have overcome a bad habit and found success they in turn can do the same and become their own success story.”

Chaplin said she would tell her own clients that one of the best ways to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.

“If a person tends to overeat especially when they are stressed, instead of choosing to eat food when they feel down they can begin to exercise or use a journal to help with their emotions instead of using food as an outlet.”

She continued, “we all have weaknesses and whatever they are we have to first recognize that we have them, some stronger than others, then work at them daily to make them work for us and not against us.”

Chaplin explained that smokers shouldn’t dine at restaurants that allow smoking to help curb their temptations to smoke.

“Whatever the bad habit is, the more we focus and try not to surround ourselves with the ‘bad habit’ the more successful we will be in making progress against it.”