We have all been there, where we have had a realisation and we have decided that right now, we are going to change our lives by implementing 20 new healthy habits, that will be mastered by Friday.. Am I right?!
Well, unfortunately it does not and never will happen like that. Healthy habits are engrained in your mind which takes consistency and passion. Naturally, habits can run dry because we run out of passion and motivation, leaving you in the exact same place you were when you started. Studies show that it takes two weeks to master a new habit, whether that be walking, cutting out refined sugar or even practising your positive affirmations. There are going to be times where you give up on your new habit, but hey at least it is just one habit you need to focus on.. not 50,000!
If you follow me on my social media, you have probably heard me chat about my new project the ‘Healthy Habits Collective.’ The HHC is a group of women who are willing to put time, effort and change into their lives for over the next 12 months. This programme allows women to adjust, adapt and improvise to the monthly healthy habit that is given to them. The goal for this membership is to show women that there is no rush to master a healthy life, the best things in life never happen overnight (especially the sustainable and most valuable things!)
It is unbelievable, yet true but habits account for 40% of our behaviours on any given day. So it is essential to know that factors that contribute to creating new healthy habits!
Whatever habits you have now, reflect on your lifestyle at the moment. The thing with habits, they become so automatic which is a great thing if it is about your morning walk, not so good if you are talking about your after-dinner chocolate bar.
So let’s talk about healthy habits in terms of your wellness. What does it mean for your wellness if you implement small changes over time and how to not return back to your old self.
Difference between a habit change and a diet is:
How many times have you gone on a diet and you do it for a month, 8 weeks, or even 6 months but the reality is that the change is so big and it just isn’t sustainable over a long term period. So, naturally, it crashes and you don’t think about it again until you are back where you started.
Now, the difference with a small habit change, regularly but not quickly is that you can learn to grow that healthy habit and you don’t revert back to what you were. You are so focused on that one life change, that you don’t get overwhelmed and stop, in fact, you keep going until it sticks.
Small incremental healthy habits, remove the stress from creating a healthy life.
Whether or not you are trying to create a healthy habit around your health or around your life, in general, you can use this method to create habits that last a lifetime.
How to create healthy habits?
1. Start small!
Something that is doable, and you can continue doing without drastically changing your routine/life. By choosing a small habit, you then don’t need an overload of motivation, you just need to choose.
- Instead of having the mindset, I want to lose 2 kilos a week, think I want to cut out my refined sugar for a week.
- Instead of having 2 glasses of wine per evening, have 1.
- If you want to start meditating, start with a 3-minute session, not a 30-minute session.
- Go for a walk before you go for a run.
2. After the first 2 weeks (or however long until you have it) we then need to increase the healthy habit.
Once you have created the new small habit, it is time to increase it. So perhaps take that 3-minute meditation to a 5-minute mediation. Increase the habit, but again in a small way – not drastically! This is the same as the food and diet department.
When you set yourself small goals that are possible, you can reach them. When you reach them you feel good and successful, which therefore leads you up the path of more healthy habits will eventually lead you to the healthiest version of you.
3. If you slip up, make sure you get straight back on track.
Anyone who has been successful has had failures along the way. Think about your own life and the things you have succeeded in and think about the curves in the road, thank gosh you got back on track – right?
The truth is, everything in life has its ups and downs, any success that anyone has ever had has had downs… But you got to get back up! Life is about the journey, not always just the destination.
Research shows, that missing a habit that you regularly practise, does not have any effect on your long term. This is the same for meditating, eating well, exercising, all of it! Don’t give up because you missed one, two or three-morning meditations, just wake up the next morning and practise it again.
It is inevitable that eventually, we will fail. It is not an if, it is a when – it just depends on how you prepare for the fall and how you get back up.
We all want everything now, we want to see progress, we want to get to the final point. But, there is no final point – life is a journey! We can make incredible progress with small healthy changes if we are consistent and patient. I know for me, even when I order online I want it to be there the next day! Having patience is the main contrast to a habit, it is so different from going on a diet and lose 10 kilos in 10 weeks, you will put it back on. That is because you haven’t thoroughly practised the new skills, and thought processes. 10 weeks isn’t enough, it takes much more time than that.
Our new habits need to be so small that they are easy, especially in the beginning!
Be kind and loving to yourself! So many of us spend so much time, beating ourselves up with destructive conversation because we sabotage ourself with impossible goals!
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