Creating Healthy Habits
Healthy habits are an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
The more AUTOMATIC you can make something where you don't even think about it, the easier it is to do it day in and day out. Healthy habits can stick with you and help you navigate stressful times and vacations successively.
Ok, last week, I gave you a quick assignment. Did you do it? If not, revisit that post here and follow those steps to set some goals to get you started on creating habits you want.
After you've taken those steps and tried your baby step goals for a week, you need to HONESTLY review how you did. Were you able to nail those baby steps every day? If so, you did an awesome job of creating the perfect baby steps and now it's time to create a some more "advanced" baby steps. If not, it's OK! You now have a choice whether to keep those baby steps or revise them and make them even simpler and more achievable. OR simply start with ONE baby step. That's all you need to get yourself started in the right direction.
Ok, so here's how we put this all into practice.
Yes, changing a habit can seem hard, but it just takes a bit of concentrated effort and consistency.
You can think of habit formation in several different ways.
First, you can think of a “bad habit” that you want to change.
Or you can think of a good habit you want to develop.
Actually, developing a good habit is essential to changing bad habits because you have to replace the bad habit with something else.
For example, let’s say you wanted to stop drinking soda. You could just say, “I’m not going to drink soda anymore.”
That’s great, but what ARE you going to do instead? You need to make a plan.
You could turn it into a goal to drink only water throughout the day.
Rather than making that vague statement/hope, make a plan to achieve it, here are several ideas you could try (instead of driving to the gas station to get a big gulp every day.
1. Take a large water bottle or gallon jug of water to work with you.
2. Every time you pass the water fountain at work, take a drink.
3. Take a water bottle and make a goal to refill it "X" amount of times.
4. Drink a cup of water before each meal.
5. Drink one cup of water every hour.
6. Keep a water bottle in the car and everywhere you go.
Pick 1-3 of these “baby steps/mini-goals” and try it for a week.
At the end of each day, evaluate how you did. Make any adjustments necessary to be more successful the next day.
Likewise, at the end of the week, evaluate how you did.
Were your baby steps achievable?
Were you able to meet your goal 90% of the time.
If yes, move on to a new goal.
If not, what happened? What were your roadblocks? How can you set yourself up for success next time?
Careful planning and evaluation are integral parts of forming good habits and overcoming “bad” habits. But with consistent effort, you will be able transform your life. One good habit at a time!
What habit are you working on this week?