Life is simply an accumulation of days.
So, how we live each day determines how we live out our lives.
Acknowledging this makes us realise just how important our small, daily habits are!
If we want to live our dream life, we must have daily habits that align to our vision, and ones we can stick to over the long run.
This Healthy Habits series will help you do just that. In the lessons to come we’ll cultivate habits that align us to living most vibrantly with simple, practical tools, tips, tricks and recipes that integrate easily and enjoyably into our (often busy) lives.
Before we dive into learning new habits, let’s explore how to learn new habits in a way that sticks.
Sticking to Healthy Habits
Struggling to find consistency with healthy habits is often the biggest barrier to making lasting change in our life.
Fortunately, there are a few key concepts and tricks that can make habit formation easy and lasting.
A new kind of social science called “Habit Science” uncovers what causes people to give up on good habits and, more importantly, what helps us stick to new habits.
We’ll review the most impactful tips below as well as sprinkle habit science throughout the series so knowledge becomes action and you become empowered!
Habit Science Top Tips
1. Anchor new habits to old ones
Every day we go through numerous habits with unflinching consistency, like brushing our teeth, walking the dog, taking the kids to school or making dinner. These mundane habits can become our allies when cultivating new habits.
Use an old habit as a trigger to remind you to do the new habit. For example, “After/while I pack the kids lunch, I drink a full glass of water to start my day hydrated.”
We want to anchor a new habit to an old habit so we rely less on motivation and more on automation. Because, let’s be honest, motivation isn’t exactly reliable.
The old habit will trigger you to do the new habit, and before you know it, it will become another part of your daily routine.
Anchor a new habit with this statement: “After I …[fill in old habit]…then I…[fill in new habit].
2. Small & Sustainable
The habit scientists have found that people give up on healthy habits often because they take on too much too fast.
We get so excited about making positive change in our life we want to do it all at once. Unfortunately this almost always leads to overwhelm, burn out and giving up.
Instead, focus on making just one small change at a time, and give yourself some leeway. Commit to 5 out of 7 days, take the pressure of perfection off of yourself and know this will lead to sustainable change.
3. Plan for Obstacles
We all look back at times and think, “I could have seen that coming!”
The truth is, most of our obstacles can be premeditated. Yet, we seem surprised each time they come up.
The easiest way to overcome obstacles is to plan for them.
When starting a new habit, think about potential obstacles and then brainstorm strategies for working around them. Create a simple plan of action when obstacle arise and dramatically increase your chances of sticking to a new habit.
Include the kids
When introducing a new food or routine to your child, try integrating it with something they’re already familiar with to reduce resistance and make it easy for you to remember as well.