If someone has ever said to you “you need to set some good habits” it’s probably a response to you expressing a lack of control or consistency in your life. It’s one of those things (like flossing or drinking 2L of water every day) that we know we should do but always seems to fall through the cracks. Gaining consistency, control and calmness on a daily basis is the result of healthy habits. Defence Health (2018) explains that “Humans are creatures of habit. Our brains love automating a sequence of steps to create a routine ― it saves space for all the other important decision-making processes”. So, where do you start?
#1 – Start Small
It needs to be something you can maintain and build on. B.J. Fogg, a Stanford University researcher and author of the book “Tiny Habits,” notes that big behaviour changes require a high level of motivation that often can’t be sustained. If your goal is to run every day after work, start by walking for 15 minutes every day. When that task becomes habitual, shift it slightly closer to your goal habit.
#2 – Stack your habits
Experts say that the best way to form a new habit is is to tie it into an existing habit. This could be doing 5 squats while you brush your teeth or doing breathwork while you have your morning coffee.
#3 – Do it every day
Every. Day. A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology showed that the amount of time it takes for a task to become habitual ranges from 18 – 254 days. There isn’t a perfect amour of days that it takes, but the more you do it, the easier it will become the next day.
Start small with something easy. When that becomes habitual, stack something else onto it, and do it every day until it’s an automatic response. You’ll be a health god in no time*!