How to Build a Healthy Habit!

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in Featured, Lifestyle | 0 comments

How to Build a Healthy Habit!

It has been reported that it can take approximately two months to incorporate a new habit into your daily life. Two months is not a great deal of time. So why do we find it so hard to motivate ourselves and start something we have always wanted to do, whether that be learning a new language, going to the gym more, finding time to read, meditate or write in a journal? We know these things will be beneficial to us so why is it so difficult to get started?

 

Well, beginning a new habit can be intimidating. There is the tendency to want to dive into the new activity and accomplish all aspects of it immediately. If we take the example of going to the gym, you may want to jump from never going to the gym to doing an intense workout for one hour every single day. Of course it will be difficult to get started if that is your immediate goal. It is important to set a long term goal, but also to work in increments to reach that. There is nothing wrong with starting small and setting sub-goals for yourself. At the beginning of forming a new habit, the main goal should be simply getting into the routine of doing that habit. Again with our gym example, instead of deciding that you will suddenly go to the gym for an hour a day, perhaps go for a walk for 20 minutes every day. As long as you are setting aside some time every day to dedicate to your new habit, you will be well on your way to achieving that long term goal.

 

Consistency in forming a new habit is key to success. In order to be consistent in your performance, however, it is equally important to reward yourself when you meet your sub-goals. Set up a system for yourself. Once you have achieved something, give yourself a reward for that accomplishment. That could be in the form of a cheat day if you meet your gym goals. If you go to the gym to walk on the treadmill, you could allow yourself to watch a series on your iPad while working out. It would be important to only make that series available to yourself when on the treadmill, however, in order for the reward system to be effective. Whatever your reward system, customize it and make it realistic so you know that you will not cheat and reward yourself when you actually have not met your goal.

 

Furthermore, when starting your habit, you should have an accountability partner. Since it can be very difficult to find motivation within ourselves at times, it is helpful to have someone else motivate us, whether that is a mentor, coach, personal trainer, teacher or friend. This person can be there to remind you of your goals and what you have to do to achieve them. This will be very important especially in the early stages of developing a new habit.

 

Lastly, it is important to take scheduled breaks away from this new habit or activity that you have picked up. You do not want to feel pressured or burdened by this hopefully healthy, new habit. It is good to take breaks so that you can re-focus and gain a new wave of energy and motivation when you return to it.

 

Here is a break-down of some of the main points mentioned in this article:

 

It is important to:

  • Be consistent
  • Reward your progress
  • Focus on your sub goals
  • Take breaks
  • Get an accountability partner

 

Try not to:

  • Procrastinate
  • Allow distractions to get in the way
  • Burn out

 

At the end of the day, there is no fixed formula or number of days that may be necessary for you to start a new healthy habit and maintain it. The process will vary from person to person. The key thing is to enjoy that process and let it guide you. The last thing you want is for the new habit to become a burden. So put a system in place that works for you, stick with it and enjoy it. Once that habit is ingrained in your daily life, it will be worth all the effort you put into it.

 

 

Feeling burnt out?

Take a look at Psychminds view on burnout: http://psychminds.com/burnout/

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