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How to make healthy habits stick.

We are well into January and with a new year usually comes a list of resolutions and that can include healthy habits you want to pick up or maybe some bad habits that you want to kick. But sometimes it's hard to keep the momentum going with these habits or any habits for that matter. Also if you haven't made any resolutions, there is NO bad time to decide to set goals or habits for yourself. The best time to start is always right now.

So, lets get into it. With New Years resolutions flowing in lets talk about how to reframe how we look at these resolutions. Say you are looking at going to bed earlier or cutting out alcohol or caffeine. Instead of looking at it as something that you are losing think about it as an indulgence. What I mean is, instead of looking it as "I have to go to bed earlier I am losing out on time" create an indulgent bedtime routine. Maybe buy yourself some new pyjama's or new bedding. Create a fun bedtime routine that makes you excited about going to bed earlier. Or if you are cutting out alcohol or caffeine find fun alternatives. Maybe for liquor you buy yourself some fancy glasses and some ingredients to make mocktails and for caffeine find a delicious drink to replace it. Maybe it's tea and you go out and buy yourself a nice tea pot and delicious tea's to make you look forward to making this transition. If we shift our mindset from deprivation to indulgence it can make it easier for us to stick with it.

Other ways we can instill our habits are;

  • Setting an alarm or a reminder. I know this sounds a little silly but sometimes having that constant reminder gives us that extra push to keep up with our goals.

  • Have an accountability buddy! Having someone that you check in with regularly to hold you accountable for your goals can help you stay on track.

  • Don't break your chain. Keep track of how many days you have kept up with your habits. The longer we go the less likely we are to break the chain.

  • Keep track of your total. Say walking or running was on your list - track your steps but keep a running total. It can be really exciting to think of it in the way of "I walked the distance of BC to Nova Scotia this year!" That's a great accomplishment!

  • Try a reward system. For example I used to be bad for drinking my coffee before breakfast and often times this would lead to me just not eating breakfast at all. In order to break this habit I wouldn't let myself have my morning coffee (which is scared to me) without eating my breakfast first. It was my reward for breaking the habit.

  • Set an actual time you want to do your goal. Say you want to do yoga everyday - set a time to do it. Or say you want to learn a new language set the goal of "I want to learn 4 new words in French a day and in 6 months I would like to be able to speak fluently." This way we are less likely to push it off or make an excuse as to why we can't do it.

The most important thing to remember is don't be too hard on yourself. If we put too much pressure on ourselves to be "perfect" it can set us back. It's okay to have an off day but try and keep it as an off day. Don't get caught in the loophole of "Well, I screwed one day up so what's the point?" We are all guilty of this. Try reframing how you look at off days. Or maybe you even schedule in a day off so you don't have any guilt about the off days. Look it as "My body needs a break today" or "today is my rest day and I deserve this". One bad day or even a couple bad days do not mean a bad habit and they do not erase all the progress that you have made. Drop a comment below letting me know what some of your goals are or ways that you try and keep up with your habits.

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