Helping my clients ditch old habits and create new, healthier habits is the most important part of my work in helping them reach their health and wellness goals.
Aristotle said it best:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
If we are what we repeatedly do, then creating quality habits is the only path to our best selves. The hard truth is that creating new habits and making healthy choices is not easy. All change is difficult, but your health, happiness, and confidence are worth every moment spent getting intentional and pushing yourself to do the work.
Believe me when I tell you, there are ways to create habits that will stick for good! The following are the most effective strategies to make new habits stay for good:
Have A Plan
If you want to succeed at any goal, you must have a plan of action. You need to put some thought into the What, When and Why of your goal. For example, if you want to create the habit of daily exercise then you must decide what type of exercise, on what days and for how long before you put your gym clothes on. Write out your plan and place it somewhere you will see it everyday. It is also highly effective to schedule the time and activity on your calendar with the rest of your appointments. Think of it as an appointment with yourself.
Take Small Steps In The Right Direction
When starting a new habit, the best strategy is to take a small step and repeat it often. For example, if you want to create a habit of exercising, the trick is to do a little every day. Start small, and gradually build up to bigger goals. If you have never exercised before, a good plan is to start with 10 minutes every day and tack on 5 minutes each week until you get to 30 minutes. Trying to do too much at once will only lead you to feel frustrated, overwhelmed or wanting to give up entirely.
Focus On The Right Things (Think Positively)
Many people focus on the wrong things without even realizing it. For many years I set a goal of making more money in my business, and every year I would fail. Last year I finally realized why it wasn’t working; I spent a lot of time focusing on how I could not afford things and feeling negative about the amount of financial success I had achieved. It was then I realized my epiphany: I spend my life teaching others to focus on the positive and to focus on what they want to achieve, and here I am spending my time focusing on all the things that I had not achieved instead of focusing on the strong, vibrant business I am creating. From that moment, I've gone on to achieve the business success I've always wanted.
Believe In Yourself.
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
- Henry Ford
If you go to the trouble of setting a goal, do yourself a favor and believe in your ability to achieve it. Start by being your own best friend and encourage yourself in every way. Nurture yourself with positive words and rewards. Believing in yourself is a crucial component to success. You can do it this year. You can, and you will!
If you are interested in learning more about habit change:
I absolutely love both of these books, and I recommend them to all of my clients. If you understand how habits take shape in your brain, you can more effectively start to build good ones and breaking the bad ones.