Why is creating new, positive habits, like exercising or getting enough sleep, so challenging? Maybe you can’t stop eating sweets or are always meaning to eat more veggies.
It comes down to how you are thinking about whatever it is you want to change. Sometimes these “hard things” don’t have to be so difficult to achieve. It’s important to develop strategies for success — ways to make it easier to do the thing you want to do, and easier to remember to do it.
No one is perfect, nor could we ever be. Making positive changes isn’t an all or nothing thing either. That black and white mentality almost always leads to nothing.
Choose only one change, and commit to it.
Instead, identify just one thing you know could make a big difference for you if you did it. Then decide you are going to do it. Not try or hope you do it, but actually commit to doing it. One thing.
Let’s say you want to get more exercise. Decide what, when, and how you could do just 15 minutes of that activity every day. (You can choose to add more time later, but start small.) Now come up with a strategy to set yourself up for success. Set your phone alarm, mark the time on your calendar, and or get a buddy to check in with about it. Just 15 minutes can lead to 30 minutes can lead to … a habit!
If you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn’t go out on Day 1 and try to put in 10 miles. You would create a plan, follow it, and build upon it incrementally. The point is to break down your goal into small bites, and not make it overwhelmingly difficult to do.
Make it fun, and reward yourself!
Making it more fun is also important. You can combine the “not yet a habit” practice with something fun. For example, you may make exercising more enjoyable by listening to a favorite podcast or music at the same time. Or maybe there is a fun, indulgent activity that you can treat yourself to after you have finished your “not yet a habit” activity. It’s most effective if you only allow yourself that fun indulgence once you complete the new activity you’re trying to make a habit. Of course, you really don’t want to make the fun thing something like eating a bowl of ice cream! I’m thinking of fun things like a bubble bath, “permission to watch” an episode of a favorite TV show, or a Tarot reading.
This strategy can apply to almost any “hard thing” you want to achieve:
- writing a report
- cleaning up the garage
- taking your supplements
- flossing your teeth
- eating more vegetables
A great book with more ideas and strategies for making positive changes is “How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” by Katy Milkman.
Get a buddy to support your success.
Having a friend or support group to encourage you and hold you accountable is also super helpful. This is certainly one of the reasons why coaching works so well when you want to make positive changes or make better progress in some area of your life.
Speaking of new and challenging things, I am leading another Gorgeously Healthy Goddess Cleanse this month starting April 18. I would love you to join me. Yeah, it is kind of a hard thing to do, but it is also a fun thing when you do it together in a group. And, this really is a game changer! You’ll be surprised how fabulous you will feel — body, mind, and spirit. Find out more about it HERE.
To the Funnest Hard Thing you can think of doing, do it Gorgeously!