Hey guys! Welcome back to the Healthy Habits Series!
As I mentioned in my last post, in the last couple of years I’ve become completely disillusioned with hardcore, terrifying new years resolutions that in the past I’d been known to put myself through at the beginning of each year. Once again this year I’m saying bye to that, and hello to healthy habits. It’s something I’ve been focusing on for a while now, so I thought it would be a great time to share with you some of the things I’ve learnt. We’re going to cover lots of fun things in this series, but first up, so you want to add a few new healthy habits to your routine, but don’t know how. Well we’re here to share with you how you can get started on that… and hopefully stick with it!
How to Adopt A Habit
Stick to a single habit
It might seem to make sense to work on all the healthy habits at the same time, but chances are you’ll stick with it longer if you focus on one at a time. That will also help to reduce the pressure on you, which is key to doing anything new. As I mentioned, I’m prone to going on big self-overhauls and trying to implement every healthy habit at the same time, but from experience, it just doesn’t work to change your lifestyle so significantly, it pretty much makes you crazy, so instead these days I try to stick with just one at a time.
Give it a go for a month
They say it takes 20 days to form a habit, but to be sure, let’s just give it a month to really let it settle in. There might be a few days here and there that you’ll forget or have other priorities, but if you continue for 31 days chances are you’ll be well on your way to integrating that habit for good. And, once you start seeing the positive benefits of your new habit, you’ll find it so so easy to continue!
Develop your habit alongside an existing one
This is an idea I got from a friend of mine, who said that she was motivated to start getting up earlier once she adopted the concept of doing some sort of exercise (even something low impact) every day. By pairing the two together, it was easier to make them happen and also allowed her to tick two important boxes as soon as she woke up. Genius!
Break it up into small steps
Don’t feel you need to go 100% from day one, the trick is to ease into a new habit so it’s not such a big shock to your system. So if you’re trying to wake earlier, use your 31 days to acclimatise to that. Start waking 15 minutes earlier the first week, and another 15 minutes the week after that, finally wokring your way up to an hour after a month. In this way you’ll get used to it is a more casual and relaxed way.
Be prepared for obstacles and temptations
There are bound to be things that want to push you off the wagon, so one way around that is to plan ahead – whether that means packing healthy snacks if you know that 3pm is your head-to-the-vending-machine-time or putting all your gym gear out next to your bed if you’re likely to roll over when you should be getting up for a walk. But don’t be worried if once in a while you can’t do your healthy habit, the purpose of a habit is that it’s long-term, and therefore you’re allowed to lapse now and again. Just get back on the horse tomorrow!
Share your success!
Much like I’m here sharing with you some thoughts on healthy habits so as to keep myself in line, a great way to motivate yourself is to share your successes (and failures) with other people. Even better? Get your significant other, housemate, parents or whoever along with you on the healthy habit too.
Work your new habit into your lifestyle
Think of your new healthy habit as part of your lifestyle, rather than some sort of hardcore fad that you’ll chuck in after 30 days. If you find your new habit very very taxing, maybe you need to reconsider something a little more achievable… Don’t be afraid to admit when something, in particular, isn’t working for you.
Reward Yourself When Your Reach Your Milestone
Because you deserve it. Enough said!
To make it even easier for you to work on your habits, we’ve put together this easy printable Habit Tracker. Simply write your existing and new healthy habits down the side and monitor when you do them! You can download the full size A4 copy here. You can also print it smaller and stick it into your bullet journal (I’m getting into that this year!!).
This is how you fill it out:
Stay tuned for more healthy habits articles!
Illustration and printable by Natalie Ong