5 Ways to build a habit
This is such a great topic to write about, and one that I am by no means an expert at. However along my wellness journey and in helping other individuals with their journey, here are a few hints and tips I have found useful.
1. Habit Stack!
Our usual everyday activities we do without thinking, such as brushing our teeth, when we might go for a shower, or grabbing car keys on the way out of the door. When trying to instil a new habit such as drinking more water, we might then add this onto a habit that is so normal we don’t even have to think about it.
For example, you may have a glass of water next to your bed so the first thing you do in the morning when you swing your legs out of bed, is drink that before you head to the bathroom, or look at your phone! You might need to take some supplements, so downstairs you place your keys on the bench ready for the next day and next to it have your supplements ready with a large glass of water, so the ‘thinking part’ is removed from remembering to do it. Habit stacking is one of the easiest ways to start adding in habits to your daily activities.
2. Start Small.
Start with a small win, once this is achieved and becomes normal, then build on this. For example you might want to walk a 10km trail. So you might start by walking 10 mins to work by parking further away. Or you might need to drink 2 litres of water a day, so the first thing you do everyday when you come downstairs or get out of bed is drink one large glass of water (using habit stacking).
3. Build little by little.
Don’t aim for the stars and go all out, and then feel as though you have failed when you can’t seem to keep it up. Slowly building upon your ‘start small’ will help you achieve large goals with time that are sustainable.
4. Never miss twice.
Occasionally there are periods in life that may cause us to do this, but as a general rule, missing is okay, but avoid missing twice where possible (a ‘James Clear’ hint)
5. Add ons!
From a food perspective and a slight deviation from habit forming, sometimes it is helpful to look at, not what do I need to change, but what can I add in!
For example, you might want to start eating a more balanced diet. Rather than think you shouldn’t eat anything, start by adding in colourful veggies/fruit to your diet, your next step might be to add in healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds. And as you add in, then your diet is transformed rather than thinking of what you can’t eat/or need to take out. Mindset is huge in making these changes.
I would highly recommend reading James Clear book on Atomic Habits, it is one I read a couple of years ago, and a favourite!
Miracle Morning is also a great read too
A podcast on the topic I loved listening to was James Clear and Craig Groschel talk about Atomic Habits