Creating healthy habits for life
AVOID New Year’s resolutions — research tells us they don’t work for many of us, so create healthy habits instead.
Your habits determine your success — habits can be described as “a regular tendency that is hard to give up”.
Habits account for about 40 per cent of our behaviours on any given day.
To rewire your habits you need to make a conscious effort and understand that results take time and require persistence.
Some habits are triggered at certain times of the day — such as the eating too many afternoon snacks.
Your location and environment can also be a factor. Have you ever eaten a cookie because it’s in front of you? Avoid tempting environments.
Emotional states are not very useful to trigger new habits, but they can be used effectively for relaxation — for example, when I notice tension in my muscles I will do some deep breathing and have a stretch.
The people around you can help you develop good habits. Are you surrounded by supportive, kind people? Tips for changing habits:
DO a stocktake of your habits — what can you find out? ISOLATE one habit to begin.
INVESTIGATE deeply, know your habit pattern.
INSTALL a new strategy pattern. IMPLEMENT and practice your new strategy. INSPIRE yourself and celebrate your success. IMPROVE 1 per cent and repeat. It might not seem like much, but it will compound.
Changing habits can take anywhere from 21 days to nine months, according to various research.
The key to success is to know why you want to shift.
When you want to change your behaviour, you must change your self identity too.
This requires deep motivation. You need to know why you want to do it.
It must be important enough to persist, and you must know the consequences of failure.