For 2016, here is a guide to create lasting habits

MC&A December Newsletter - For 2016, Some easy tips to create new habits

For 2016, here is a guide to create lasting habits

Bring in the New Year with a promise to yourself, to change some of those habits that may not be working in your favour. Challenge yourself to make small but effective changes to your day to day habits. No one says it will be easy to change your behaviour. It is up to YOU! Your health and wellness is worth it. Take the drivers seat!  Habits are difficult to break, and difficult to implement. Wouldn’t it be great if going for a jog every morning, drinking eight glasses of water a day, or meditating for 15 minutes during your lunch break came as automatically as brushing your teeth? But they don’t. Strongly cemented habits, like brushing your teeth, are so common they often go unnoticed. So then, how do you create new habits that are just as natural and easy?

The answer is that it takes work, dedication, time. Your wellness is a priceless gift. You owe it to yourself.

There is a popularity held myth that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. However, the truth is it often takes much longer than that.  But don’t let the time it takes get you down; here are some ways to build your lasting habits into your daily life.

1. Start small

To get started with your new habit, break it down into smaller habits that are so miniscule that they are almost difficult not to achieve.  If you want to run for thirty minutes a day, start by running just five minutes a day. If you want to meditate for ten, start with just one minute. These small goals are so easy that you don’t need much motivation to work them into your routine. Then, once you’ve got the small bits recurring regularly, you can increase them gradually until you’re where you wanted to be.

2. Work with a buddy

Having a witness to your objectives is a great way to increase the likelihood of achieving them. If you live with a spouse or a roommate, maybe both of you together can decide that you will eat vegetables at every meal, or do ten minutes of yoga before dinner. This way, if one of you is thinking of skipping it, you can hitch a ride to the motivation of the other to lift you out of that slump.

3. Attach new habits to existing habits

It can be easier to remember to do something new if it is closely attached to something old. Take your vitamins and supplements when you brush your teeth in the morning, or do your pushups right before you take a shower. These “anchors” will help you bring your new habits into sync with existing ones.

4. Track your progress

Using a paper calendar or an app, keep track of how often you manage to follow u through on habits you set out to form.  Having a tangible, visual record of your efforts is a good way to move them from the abstract to the concrete.

5. Keep it up

You are human, and you may trip up and miss a day or two, especially in the beginning. Don’t let these small defeats snowball into big ones, after missing a day, continue the next day exactly where you left off.

Though it will probably take more than just 21 days, it is possible to create good habits that last. Give it time and effort, and eventually you will be doing things routinely that your used to do, which will result in feeling better overall, YOU OWE IT YOURSELF! A better you is good for everyone.

Excerpts provided by – Shepell fgi December 2015

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