Our daily habits make up the course of our lives. Have you looked at your daily routine lately? Is there anything you have been meaning to work into your routine that you just haven’t gotten around to yet? Maybe you are struggling to get started or your new habit motivation wares off after a couple of weeks. Have you thought about the process behind making that habit happen instead of just doing it without thinking it through?
We believe that the five steps below will get you going in the right direction! Make a list of what you truly want to incorporate into your life, number the list, and start at number one. Try out our five-step guide and see how much of a difference it makes! What’s the worst that could happen? You succeed and live happily ever after?! 😉
1. Stack Your Habits
The best way to form a new and consistent habit is to tie it to an existing habit. What is your daily routine? Look at these patterns and think about when the best time to work your new habit into your day is. For example, do you chill out on the couch and turn the TV on after work every day? Try a circuit workout in your living room while your watching TV. A circuit workout consists of three reps of the same three exercises and will make it easy for you to still watch your shows. See where this leads you!
2. Start Small
Think about your current habits. How did they earn a place in your daily routine? Intentional or not, most likely these habits started small and as you grew more interested or involved, they began to take priority in your life. Take the same approach with an intentional habit such as becoming more active. Start by taking a short walk every day and see the snowball effect take root in your life. You will eventually walk a little longer, then you might want to jog, and before you know it you’re full on running!
3. Do It Every Day
It is common knowledge that habits can take time to create, but stick easier when practiced more often! The trick is to start with something easy or small like committing to ten jumping jacks a day, rather than something that is totally out of your norm like going to the gym every morning at 5 AM. Ever heard that phrase that it takes 21 days to form a habit? This statistic is on the right track, but not necessarily the end-all-be-all of habit forming rules. A group of researchers published a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology that found participants who took anywhere from 18 to 254 days to successfully form a new habit. If you’re truly interested in building a new habit, you’ve got to be in it for the long-haul!
4. Make It Easy
It is human nature to avoid obstacles and do what is easiest. Keep this in mind when forming a new habit. What are some of the obstacles that you can clear out of your way while trying to become more active? Pack your gym bag the night before, prep and portion out your weekly meals ahead of time, write down your schedule in a planner so you can see when you are available to exercise.
5. Reward Yourself
A reward after a job well done is ALWAYS satisfying no matter if it’s a plaque at work for making the top numbers that quarter, or something more immediate like the good feeling you get after cleaning up the house or enjoying a fresh set of sheets on your bed! For example, stop looking at exercising as work, boring, or time consuming and start thinking about how you can reward yourself while exercising. You can reward yourself by catching up on that TV show, listening to that podcast, or calling a friend during your workout. It no longer becomes tedious, but a time that you can set aside for yourself to do the things you may otherwise feel guilty about using your time for.