Healthy habits improve our overall well-being and make us feel happier. Establishing healthy habits is more straightforward than we often think. The secret is to start small. Remember, this is a lifelong journey towards our best self, not a race to be won today.
The first step in creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime is to start with just one. Begin by choosing one thing to work on at a time. Maybe it’s drinking half your body weight of water every day, or perhaps it’s standing up and moving your body for just 2 minutes every hour while you’re awake. Maybe it’s going outside to breathe fresh air for 5 minutes a day.
Whatever it is, don’t overthink it. Remember this is only one small part of a much larger plan. The habit you choose doesn’t have to be something big or complicated. Little, easy habits are just as important. Choose something that works for you. Something that resonates within you and creates a spark of joy within your heart.
Once you’ve decided on your new habit, it’s time to make it second nature.
Below are five easy steps to establishing a new habit.
WRITE IT DOWN. Once you’ve chosen the new habit, you want to establish write it down. Then put it somewhere you’ll see every day. Write it on a Post-it and stick it to your bathroom mirror, your car’s dashboard, or your computer monitor. You could also snap a picture of it and use it as the wallpaper on your phone.
COMMIT TO 1 MONTH. There is much debate over the exact number of days it takes to form a new habit successfully. Some experts say habit formation only takes 21 days while others insist it takes 66 days.
Regardless of the number of days, there is one thing they all agree on; every expert concurs that habit formation is the result of repetitive action. Therefore commit to practicing your new habit every day, no matter what for one month.
CREATE AN ACTION PLAN. Think about your new habit and what you need to achieve it. If you plan to drink more water then maybe you need a bigger water bottle or one with a tighter seal so you can throw it into your purse. If it’s to move your body or go outside, you could set a reminder on your phone. The point is to think of little things that will make it easier for you to achieve your goal.
DON’T GET DISCOURAGED. If you miss a day or two, don’t get discouraged. Even if you miss a whole bunch of days don’t give up. Instead, think back to why you started and start again. Be kind to yourself and remember that we’re all a masterpiece in the making.
Reward yourself. Come up with a reward for yourself for when you hit your 30-day mark. Each day you successfully practice your new habit mark it on your calendar and congratulate yourself. Tell yourself what a great job you’re doing and to keep it up!!
Above all else be gracious with yourself. Be grateful for where you are today and how far you’ve come. You are tenacious and can achieve whatever your heart desires. Trust in yourself, and you will accomplish great things.