Like many of us, you may have started the new year by creating a new habit. As you finish out month one, how are you doing with making it stick?
Some tips and tricks to make habits stick is a good check-in point if you need some boosting.
You’ve chosen your new healthy lifestyle habit. It’s time to do it and keep doing it. Starting with new habits is the easiest part. It is sticking to them each day that is the biggest challenge. Here are some tips for making your habits stick.
Why it is Hard to Stick to a Habit
First of all, you should understand exactly why it can be difficult to stick to a habit. Deciding on a new habit is truly the simple part. Sometimes, it is just a matter of not having the right motivation, but in other cases, the problem is in the habit itself.
Choosing small, simple habits may seem pointless, but each is a step towards a bigger goal. For example, if your new habit is walking 30 minutes every day, you may need to admit you are working too many hours if you can’t fit this in. Or, you may realize you’re too tired to walk for half an hour and recognize you are not getting proper sleep or fueling your body with the best nutrients.
It’s good news that these new habits spill into other areas of your life. You recognize what other steps need to be put in place for you to succeed. Another big benefit is that people in your life will likely be motivated by your consistency as well.
If your habit is too difficult, you probably won’t stick to it very long. See if there is a way to simplify it to make it truly last.
A habit you can stick to is one you’re able to enjoy. Even habits like exercising can be enjoyable if you choose the right one. Hate jogging? Then do something else such as biking, walking, or going on a hike!
You need to fit it into your lifestyle. Just because someone else is starting a habit where they get up every day at 3 am doesn’t mean that is going to work for you. It needs to be attainable.
Find Your Purpose
As you are choosing a new habit, make sure you understand why you are doing it. You need to understand the purpose and how it will benefit you so that you really stick to it. This means analyzing the habit, how it will change your life or routine, and what the lasting benefits can be.
Sure, you want to make your bed every morning, but do you know why it’s important to you? This is what you need to focus on first to have a habit you can stick with. Celebrate your consistency in small ways each week to tell your brain to keep going! Check out Charles Duhigg’s book ‘The Power of Habit” for more great information about the habit loop.
Remember Only One at a Time
This is something you will hear repeated over and over again when you are forming new habits, because of how important it is. Start with just one new habit at a time! Once you feel comfortable and confident in your new habit, you can then start adding more to it.
Slow and steady wins the race. It may not seem that way when you start or it even seems silly when you share your small habit with someone, but with consistency, it will pay off!
Commit to a Short Period of Time First
It helps to track your habit and try to pick a short period of time where you will do it every day. Tracking habits is another way to stay motivated. See my blog post ‘Why Tracking Habits Matters.’ And check out this journal that I love to keep me on track with forming new habits. A good way to start is by doing it for 30 days. Keep going after a month and look to extend it to 90 days since this is the amount of time it takes for a new habit to take effect.
Reach out to me if you need more support surrounding forming new habits in midlife!
I’m a registered nurse for over 24 years with a Masters Degree in Nursing (Education). I am also a Certified Women’s Health Coach specializing in helping women navigate changing hormones in their 30s and beyond after my own difficult experience through menopause. I believe women should truly thrive in midlife and not just survive!