As humans we are creatures of habit. However when it comes to creating new habits (normally this means adding, changing or taking something away) we can tend to be reluctant to change. So the question is – how can we create these ‘healthy’ habits and stick to them?
Let’s firstly give ourselves a pat on the back for some daily habits we already have. These can include making the bed, brushing your teeth, always carrying drinking water, preparing food, meditation and having a to do list.
Habits are initially created through the desire to better ourselves. This can be, but is not limited to, a change in behavior , the learning of a new skill or a fresh start. The initial step is identifying the new habit. Within this blog I am going to use the example of planned healthy eating. How do I start, where can I go from here. The following are 6 easy steps to successfully implement and execute a new habit.
Step 1 – Commit to the new habit for 30 days
Have a start date. Commit to 30 days to put maximum effort into being successful. Throughout this time structure the task into your every day cycle. We want to give ourselves the best opportunity to accomplish creating this new habit.
Step 2 – Anchor the new habit to an established habit
Life can get busy and each day can throw us unexpected curve balls. What is a simple task that we can commit to? Let’s use a post workout shake as an example. From now forward when attending the gym I have my shaker bottle and whey protein ready to have after class. The protein is our new habit and class is the existing.
Step 3 – Don’t run before you can walk
Have patience with yourself. Think about the foods that can be eaten as opposed to the foods you can no longer have. Introduce a new fruit or vegetable each week, learn a new recipe or bake a protein snack. Give yourself opportunities to be successful instead of failing.
Step 4 – Have a plan
Planning ahead will give guidance, assistance in being successful and decrease risk of failure. An example of this is football Sunday is coming up and you have some family members over for the game. We plan the menu in advance with some healthy snacks and try a new recipe for a snack.
Step 5 – Be accountable for the new habit
Have a form of tracking. This can include a food app, written diet plan or before bed listing the foods to be consumed the next day.
Step 6 – Reward your milestone successes
Upon hitting a success, in this example it could be a time or maybe muscle mass gain. Instead of eating out or demolishing a whole cheesecake we choose to treat ourselves to a new protein or gym outfit.