Are you looking to change or break a habit of yours? Changing your habits is the key to successful, sustainable health outcomes. Not only can having healthy habits reduce our risk of certain chronic health conditions, it can also help us feel our best, have more energy and have a more positive outlook.
If you’ve ever tried to change or create a habit before, you’ve probably experienced how hard it can be! Try not to be discouraged by this. What helps is viewing the habit change the same way as learning a new skill. Learning a new skill takes time. While you may hear that it takes 2 weeks to 30 days to build a habit, in reality, it may take as long as six months to a year to be fully ingrained in your routine.
Whether you want to go to the gym more often, eat healthier food, get more sleep, improve your productivity or save more money, changing your habits comes down to the same process. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Think about why you want to make the change. It’s really important to understand why changing your habit is valuable to you. What makes you emotionally invested in putting the effort into changing? Our emotions are very powerful in dictating our thoughts, behaviors, actions, and choices. While it may be logical to change i.e. getting more sleep will give you more energy, this fact alone is usually not enough for people to change. Why is feeling more energized important to you? Why do you care? Think about it! This should really spark something in you!
- Maybe you’ve been thinking about changing this habit for sometime, but the thought of doing it is overwhelming you. Decision fatigue sets in and you’re feeling hopeless and give up. Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Catch yourself if you’re falling into the “all or nothing” thinking and take a moment to slow down. Break down the goal you’re trying to achieve into much smaller steps, segments or pieces. By breaking down the goal this way, you’ll be able to accomplish the task at hand in a much easier way which will help you build momentum and motivation.
- Another way to make a change in your habits is to set up your environment to help you succeed. Examples of this include keeping healthier foods stocked in your kitchen, packing your lunch the night before a busy morning, keeping your gym clothes/shoes at work, or decluttering your desk to maximize productivity. This extra step of setting up your environment is a powerful way to keep yourself consistent and have your habit change be at the forefront of your mind.
Try out these 3 tips to get you started on changing your habits little by little overtime and see your success rate grow until you reach the point when you’re doing it without even thinking about it!
Want more tips or to set up a complimentary consultation with Emily? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org!