Longterm lifestyle change can only happen if you create new habits. Can you remember brushing your teeth this morning? Probably not, but I can guarantee that you definitely did it. This is just one example of an engrained habit that you’ve been doing for most of your life. It’s a healthy habit, but in the same way, we can develop unhealthy habits over time too. Long term change to your health, fitness and overall wellbeing means strategically changing these unhealthy habits, into healthy ones.
Here are my top tips for creating a new habit – and making it stick:
Commit to a time frame – you can create new habits within a month. So give yourself one month and make sure that you’re committed to sticking with it for that duration – get a wall planner and tick off each day that you’re successful. At the studio, we offer a 28 day transformation challenge to get you started!
Do it daily – Consistency is the key to making a new habit stick! If you want to start drinking more water – then do this every single day – including the weekends!
Start simple – Don’t try to completely change your lifestyle in a single day. It’s easy to get over motivated and want to go full pelt toward your new goals but if you try to change too much, you’ll burn out and it’ll never last! If you want to start eating healthier, pick three foods that you think are holding you back and change those three to a healthier option. Once you’ve got that, build on it!
Set reminders – A lot of people fall short around the 2 week mark – so set reminder alarms on your phone, use post it notes around the house or set your email account up so that it sends you a reminder email to help you stick with your new habit!
Stay Consistent – Try to get into a routine. You brush your teeth at the same time every day, so make sure your new habits are carried out at the same time each day too! For example, if you want to start going to the gym more often, pick your days and times and stick with them for the month! This way they will soon just become a normal part of your everyday life
Buddy up – Surround yourself with people who are on the same mission as you and keep on track together! Can’t find anyone? Get yourself to the studio and join in on our group PT sessions to meet like-minded people.
Replace what you’ve given up – If you are giving up chocolate in an attempt to be healthier or lose weight – but you enjoy your mid afternoon snack, then find something to replace the chocolate bar with rather than leaving an empty void in its place!
Don’t expect too much of yourself – You will ‘fall off the wagon’ and you will feel bad about it! But this happens to ALL of us. Just get back to it as soon as you can.
Remove temptation – If you struggle with willpower then remove the tempations around you! If you walk home past Starbucks every day and just can’t resist stopping off for a caramel loaded coffee…walk a different way home!!
Write a list – Physically writing down your new habits will make them seem more important and more real. Write down your new habits and also write why it is important that you stick to them and how you will feel if you don’t.
Know the benefits – You want to lose weight so you are making a new habit of including a fruit snack in place of your biscuit snack mid – morning. But do you know all the benefits to having a smaller waistline? Get to know them – it will give your new habits even more meaning.
Face up to the consequences – Yes you should know the benefits but you should also be clear on the consequences of not making your new habits stick. For example, if you’ve pledged that you will start doing the exercises your physio has asked you do…what will happen to your body if you don’t do it? Is not doing it worth the pain?
Do it for you! – Instead of trying to create habits because you think you SHOULD, create habits that you want to create for YOU and YOU only.