3 Strategies for Creating Healthy Habits
Firstly before anything else, take some time to consider your new habit. Allowing yourself a few days to first think about the new habit will enable you to visualise it, preparing mentally before diving in. It will also help you determine if this is something you really want to do, we often have fleeting thoughts on things we would like to do, or think we should do, but often these are unrealistic. Do you really want this? Will you actually do it? If not, scrap it – and that’s ok.
Initially, make it easy! Start small, you can build on this by adding to it in the coming weeks. It sounds great to jump out of the gates bursting with enthusiasm, only to then realise you have bitten off a little more than you can chew. Don’t go from doing zero walking, to all of a sudden starting with an hour walk – for some people that’s just too much, you’ll find too many things to do before it because you “don’t have enough time for it”. Start out small, and gradually build. You could even try to break things down in to chunks, 50 push-ups a day split into 5 lots of 10 throughout the day.
Here are 3 simple ways to help you stick to your new healthy habits:-
Never Miss Twice
Don’t expect it to be perfect, we all make mistakes, and life often throws something in to the mix. Abandon the all or nothing approach, instead allowing yourself to miss the occasional [enter habit here], without the self guilt. However, make a pact with yourself that you’ll never miss it twice in a row. It will have no measurable impact on your long term goal, if you just miss once. Never twice!
Don’t focus on the result
In my last article I spoke about our over-analysis of the outcomes. We are too focused on the end goal. Shift your mindset to the process of achieving the goals, the daily habits. It is these everyday routines that will make the difference “success is the sum of all small efforts, repeated day in and day out” – Robert Collier
Add a habit to an old one
Your brain builds a strong network of neurons to support your current behaviours. The more you do something, the stronger and more efficient the connection becomes.
Take advantage of the strong habits that you have already created and piggy back the habit you want to create, right on the back of it - “habit stacking”.
Write a list of all the current habits you do each day, and then look for the appropriate place to stack it:
Push-up Habit: before I take a shower every morning, I’ll do 10 push ups.
Meditation Habit: After I make my morning coffee, I will meditate for 3 mins.
Take a running start at 2017 by developing small habits now, by the New Year you can build on those already ingrained behaviours.
- Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going -