It’s estimated that it takes 66 days for a new habit to become automatic. That’s a long time to plug away at something that feels unnatural and not instantly easy. There are ways to make it easier, though. We’ve got some handy tips to help keep you on track when creating your new, healthier habits.
- Don’t rush yourself
As the saying goes – Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it really wasn’t! It will take time and patience to build your new habits. Allow yourself the time to build your new rituals, and don’t get frustrated if they don’t come easy at first. Even if it seems gratuitous, or overly fussy to stick rigidly to your plan of a night a week of self-care, or a gym session with your headphones in, you’ll gradually start to see the benefits.
- Focus on yourself and cut out others’ demands – it’s ok to say ‘NO’
Saying no isn’t something that comes naturally to many, but it’s important if you’re going to cultivate your new habits. Think of yourself as the number one priority, with your new positive behaviour or habit as the goal. Anything – or anybody – that interferes with your pursuit of it needs to wait their turn.
- Think about your health and your body
When we’re all so busy rushing around and keeping up with work, social lives and more, it’s easy to forget that we aren’t – sadly – invincible. If we don’t take care of our minds and bodies, and have our health as a priority, things slip down and we find ourselves unable to do the things we love. You may be resilient, but you aren’t invincible.
- Remember the benefits of the new habit and stick to your goal
There’s no escaping it – heading to the gym or going for a walk in the park after an early alarm and an 8-hour day of gruelling meetings is the last thing most of us fancy. Swapping that beer for a lemonade might not feel like it has the same effect. But in the long run, your body and your mind – and all aspects of your life – will benefit from this habit, even if right now it feels like a chore. Keep that goal as your focus and the effort will all seem worth it.
- Celebrate small milestones
Taking on a new, healthy habit is a great thing – and you should celebrate yourself and your efforts! Remember to do this rather than punishing yourself for small relapses – we all have days where we can’t face being good, and we eat, drink, nail-bite, slob or stress our way into a low place of regret. Don’t worry about it – be kind to yourself. Even if it feels like it’s taking forever, just be patient, be consistent and don’t let little setbacks like this stop your journey in its tracks. Baby steps, and constant praise.
- Keep on track with a buddy
Sticking to new hobbies and habits has been found to be much more effective when undertaken in pairs or groups. Working alongside friends is more fun, company often energises you in your activities, and what’s more – having other people to hold you accountable to your shared goals means you can’t duck out when you’re tired or feeling lazy.
- Visualise the end goal
Isn’t it easier to stick to something when you have a clear goal to stick to? Visualise that end goal whether it’s feeling calmer, looking healthier, weighing less, weighing more, having more energy. Whatever you want to achieve, keep that focus in mind every day as you build your new habit.
Want to find out more about building healthy habits? Get in touch below to find out more about Positive Psychology & Behaviour Change workshops.