We’ve all been there. We decide excitedly that we’re going to make some healthy changes in our lives and for the first week it goes great. But, then week two rolls around and we’re falling off the bandwagon and straight back into our old routine. Or maybe you even made it a couple of months but gave up before you were able to notice a real difference.
So, how can make make positive changes that actually stick?
No matter what your goal, here is a way to ensure you may actually keep that new habit.
Step 1: Ask yourself why you want it
Be completely honest and open with yourself about why you want to develop this new habit. Get really deep. Don’t just say things like “to lose weight” or “to get healthier,” go further. Have a think about what your life will look like if you successfully create this habit. How will you feel? What parts of your life will improve? How will it affect your confidence? How will this impact your relationships?
Step 2: Schedule your plan
It can take 66 days to build a habit. With this information, make a plan and work backwards. Have a think about what your habit will look like in 66 days if you stick to it, then strategise what you’ll need to do in the lead up to make sure you get there. Schedule it into your diary as if you are making a date with yourself. Prioritise these dates and book in other appointments and meetings around them.
Step 3: Take action
Don’t let procrastination take hold. Don’t tell yourself you’ll start another day. Start right now. What can you do today to help you get closer to reaching your goal? Most often, we freeze because we don’t know what to do or where to start. Now that you have your plan, there’s no reason not to go for it. Starting is the hardest part.
Step 4: Anticipate barriers
Write down everything that might get in the way of you achieving your goal and think about how you will overcome them. Maybe it’s not having enough time, maybe work will get in the way, perhaps your family or friends won’t be supportive. Brainstorm anything that might become a roadblock so you are prepared to get past them.
Step 5: Set future reminders
While we’re often really motivated at the beginning when we start something new, over time our enthusiasm fades. Set reminders one month, three months and six months into the future to re-inspire yourself. Remind yourself why you started and where you had hoped to be by then. These will make it that little bit easier for you to keep going and not give up.
Step 6: Celebrate!
Every little win is worth celebrating! Each time you get closer to reaching your goal, reward yourself with something small. Achieving your goal should feel good. It’s no easy thing to create new habits so make sure to regularly give yourself a pat on the back.