3 Tips for New Habits That Stick
It’s the final straw—the one that broke the camel’s back—and it’s time for change.
Perhaps you’re craving a new diet, feel energized to exercise more, or are motivated to leave your phone in another room before bed. You aim to break set cycles and try something new. And you’re empowered, ready to make a plan, and resolved to follow through.
The first step to change is realizing you’re ready for and capable of creating a new habit. And now that you’re fueled with ambition and inspiration, use these three tips to develop habits that stick.
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1. Set a Goal
Goals give you something to work toward. If you break a lofty goal like “be healthier” into smaller goals—like balanced nutrition, mental health checks, walks, hydration, and limiting screen time—you get to the nitty gritty of what you want most and what you need to focus on to achieve it.
Your personal wellness plan is unique, and how your goals should be laid out is different for everyone. Maybe you’ll bullet journal, scratch off days or numbers, fill up a jar, post updates on social media, or do something else to track your progress. Find a plan you are comfortable with and excited to make your own—it’s easiest to stick with one you like.
Make the specific wellness goals you choose SMART ones:
And if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed keeping all your goals on track, it’s okay to start small. Focus on one goal per week and build from there. Habits take time to develop, so don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect on day two.
Some habits like exercise, meditation, flexibility, or learning a new hobby require you to adjust your schedule to make time for them. It’s important to prioritize your new habit just like you would a work meeting, a hair appointment, or catching your favorite show on tv—especially for the first few months.
Figure out what time works best for you. Maybe you’ll wake up earlier to fit in your new morning routine, or block out Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. to focus on me time and make arrangements with your family or partner. Be sure to add new activities to your calendar or set an alarm on your phone to help remind you of your reshaped schedule.
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New habits require a shift in thinking, and often, a whole new mindset. If your goal is fitness focused, you may need to change from a sedentary lifestyle to a life in motion—one focused on keeping your body moving throughout the day. This new article from Ask The Scientists breaks down how to do this effectively.
A new habit centered around managing anxiety through mindfulness and mediation will allow your mindset to naturally shift as you learn these practices.
It can be difficult (maybe even impossible) to stay 100 percent motivated 100 percent of the time. It’s human nature for your motivation to wax and wane—everything else in your life does, too. And although it’s unlikely you’ll be able to maintain the same drive from day one to day 100, that’s completely okay. When you feel your motivation slipping, give these three techniques a try:
- Give yourself grace. Shut out the judgmental voice in your head whispering you’re a failure simply because you wake up one day searching for motivation that’s hard to find.
- Refocus on your goals. Look back at the notes you made at the beginning of your journey. Check in with a friend or accountability partner to share your struggle and ask for advice. Remind yourself why you started and how far you’ve come. Be your own hype crew, you know how hard you’ve worked better than anyone else.
- Shift your mindset. Change your thinking from what you have to do today to what you are achieving for your future. This moves you into a commitment mindset. You’re still dedicated to your goals, whether they are coming easily or hard.
You’ve got this! Committing to new habits is a great sign you’re someone who never settles, you’re determined to grow, and you’re constantly seeking to better yourself and your life. It’s admirable to work toward new, healthy habits, and we’re here to cheer for you every step of the way. Your best life starts today, make it happen.