Habits, how do we create them and how do we stick with them? That is a BIG question!
We are all habitual people but why does it seem so hard to create and stick with new healthy habits? Creating habits requires a shift in our mindset to one of belief that we can stick with this and will be successful. The shift focuses on who we are becoming in the process not the habits themselves. We need to become so emotionally invested in sticking with the habit that nothing can shake us.
Habits are behaviors we do without even thinking about them, these include thoughts, beliefs, and actions. We have done these repeatedly over time until they are ingrained patterns in who we are. In order to develop and maintain our new habit we need to do it repeatedly which can seem daunting at first because we are training our mind to remember this new way of being that we are enacting.
This first starts with an awareness of who you are, your daily actions, your thoughts, your beliefs, and your words.
The way we speak to ourselves and the thoughts we believe about our capabilities and who we think we are all play a role in how we show up each day. Get out a notebook and keep track of your habits for the week, this is anything you repeatedly do every day. Once you have this awareness of your habits, you can decide what to maintain, what to get rid of, and which new ones to create.
Once you narrow down the habits you want to develop, it’s time to get to work.
First think about WHY you want to create this new habit. Your why will sustain you on days when you really don’t want to do it. If you want to get into the habit of drinking more water, then understanding your why will help when you need to refill your glass. Remember, once you make an emotional investment, you will want to see yourself succeed.
Make your habit easy to implement. If you want to exercise in the morning, lay out your workout clothes the night before for easy access.
Schedule it. Until this becomes a habit, it will need to be in your calendar, planner or whatever you use to keep track of your day. Schedule in your exercise, schedule in your self-care, schedule in your new habit as you work on committing it to memory and ingrained in your daily life.
Stack your habits. Want to hydrate more? Put your full water bottle next to your coffee cup in the morning, place a full glass on your desk next to your computer. When you add the habit in with a current habit the chances are greater you will remember to stick with it.
Track your progress and reward yourself. Keep a tally of your glasses of water, write down when you exercise and then celebrate yourself. Post it to social media, put it in the family chat, shout it out your window, anything that puts you in a positive mindset so you will want to do it again.
Surround yourself with others who are creating similar habits. You all understand each other, can support one another and hold each other accountable. We all know success is greater in numbers so find yourself some new habit changing friends!
Check your words. While you work to maintain these new habits, be aware of the words you say to yourself. Are you living in I can’t or I can? The way we encourage ourselves is even more important than the words of others. These words will boost your confidence and have you believing in your abilities.
Practice gratitude. Be grateful for your life, for your abilities, for your choices, for your opportunities. Gratitude opens your mind to all the good stuff you currently have in your life as you continue to strive to be the person you want to be. It allows you to receive and appreciate all the good you are cultivating.
Get out of your own way and have Patience with yourself. All those habits you currently have weren’t developed in a day and neither will your new ones. It’s okay to stumble along the way because this is all part of the journey but make sure you get back up and keep going. Habit forming isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being the most authentic version of yourself, being more of who you are.
Once you create new habits, some of those old habits can’t exist anymore and they go away on their own because you are evolving and growing as a person. Habits change as you change. Stay focused on your progress, celebrate yourself, and keep going. You have the power to create the life you want.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a writer, speaker, educator and coach my goal is to help guide people on their own journey to making a wellness lifestyle work for them.
My holistic approach teaches that it’s not just about the nutrition we put into our bodies or our fitness routine, we also need to take care of our own well-being as well.In order to truly live a healthier life we need to realize this is a shift and change in our whole lifestyle and we must cultivate this lifestyle every day.
I’m a certified health coach with a Master’s degree in Health Promotion with a concentration in Community Education.
This degree prepared me to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). All of this knowledge is helping me create health education programs for children and adults alike.
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