That means we’re in the midst of the holidays. For me, that means delicious food, intentional family time and all things cozy (I’m looking at you, my favorite unflattering pajama pants).
This is a time of year where people start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions.
I know people who seem to have the same resolutions year after year. Whether that be weight loss, self-improvement, read more books, learn a language, exercise more regularly… it can feel impossible to actually keep the resolution ball rolling! Even after just a few weeks!
So, how do we successfully stick with our New Year’s goals and make them sustainable throughout the whole year?
we intentionally set up our life to best implement new healthy habits to get us closer to our goals.
Healthy habits are all about consistency- showing up for them day in and day out. You can set yourself up for success with proper planning!
Here are 6 ideas you can implement into your routine to help make those habits stick for GOOD!
1- Be specific.
It’s easy to tell yourself you’re going to “eat healthier” or “exercise more” or “meditate daily,” but you’re much more likely to commit to a health goal if you are specific about the goal.
For example, instead of stating, “I’m going to meditate daily,” plan for an exact amount of time you want to meditate as well as the time of day that will work best for you. “I’m going to meditate every morning upon waking for five minutes before I make my coffee.”
If your goal is to “eat healthier,” how do you want to eat healthier? Does this mean eating a serving of green vegetables for each dinner meal? Or buying most of your groceries organic? Be specific here so that you can measure your success! A few weeks into incorporating your healthy habit, you won’t be able to measure your success toward your goal unless you have specific steps to take.
Measuring your success is critical! When you feel successful, this will be the fire keeping you going and moving you towards your goal!
2- Make your habits too easy.
If the habits you want to incorporate are too challenging, you’re less likely to succeed at keeping up with them consistently.
Sure, having a goal of exercising for one hour, five days a week certainly seems like a great goal, but how likely are you to actually accomplish this each week? Not very likely if you’re new to exercising or not used to exercising that frequently.
Make your habits so feasible that it doesn’t feel like a daunting task. The goal here is to create healthy habits which are formed by consistency and it’s a lot easier to be consistent with a habit that A) doesn’t take much time and B) doesn’t take much effort.
If your goal is to read more, you could incorporate the habit of reading one page a day. If your goal is to take a walk every day, make it your habit to walk for two minutes each day.
Why such small habits? First of all, these habits are SO easy to do because they’re so tiny! If you meet a goal, you feel a sense of accomplishment no matter how big the task was. So you’ll feel great about hitting your habit goals for the day even if it took you less than five minutes. Second of all, I guarantee you that you will go over your minimum amount of time. If you don’t, that’s fine! You still met your daily habit goal. But, I bet most of the time, you’ll be taking 30-minute walks and reading a full chapter before quitting.
3- Use technology.
I’m the first to admit, I have a hard time remembering to do things, especially if they’re outside of my regular routine. I may have every intention in the morning to do a relaxing session of restorative yoga that evening after work, but there’s a good chance I will simply forget to put on my yoga clothes and hit the mat! I might get distracted by a phone call or my dog or who knows what.
I’ve learned that the most effective way for me to remember is to utilize technology. I don’t know where I’d be without the Reminders app on my phone. I highly recommend you use a similar app. Or simply use an alarm! If using my phone, I like to give the alarm a name like “Do yoga!” or “Take supplements!” or whatever is pertinent to you. (The explanation points are important to make the task seem more exciting!)
You can set the alarm or reminder to be reoccurring which is great if you have particular days/times set aside for your habit.
4- Schedule it.
Have you heard the saying, “what gets scheduled gets done?” It’s true! If you’re a calendar app junkie like me, it may behoove you to schedule your habit into your calendar! This also works for a wall calendar or schedule book. Schedule your exercise, shopping at the farmer’s market, relaxing baths, etc. Anything can be scheduled!
5- Designate an accountability partner.
If you have a friend or family member who is also interested in making healthy habits, ask them to be your accountability partner! This means you each discuss the goals you have for yourselves and how you want to get to those goals through intentional habits. Then, you keep each other updated each day or week or whatever works for you both and let each other know how you did with your habits.
My wife and I have a workout challenge going this month. We love to do workouts by Heather Robertson on Youtube. I highly recommend her channel if you enjoy HIIT, weight training and doing a variety of different workouts! She has a two week long series called Fierce 2.0. Hannah and I have a shared note (iPhone app) where we have a running checklist (see below). We can each go in and check off a workout in the series once completed. As you can see, we’re neck and neck right now!
Winner gets to go to the restaurant of their choice for date night 🙂
Step 6- Be kind to yourself.
There may be days you don’t implement your habits. That’s okay. Don’t let this be an excuse to give up altogether. It’s a practice! That means there are going to be days where things don’t go to plan. Be kind to yourself and don’t pass judgment on yourself when you don’t get it all done.
Relax 🙂 Try again tomorrow!
Y’all take good care,
Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog post is intended for educational purposes only, and it hasn’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information isn’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease, nor is it medical advice. One should always consult a qualified medical professional before engaging in any dietary and/or lifestyle change.