How to change our habits and make them stick
With all of the changes the past 12 months have dished up, many of us have turned our attention inwards and started to focus more on ourselves and our wellness practice. Naturally, this change in focus means switching out old habits and forming new ones.
Most of us would agree we’d rather not nervously bite our fingernails, and how fantastic does it feel when we get organised and prep our weeknight meals ahead of time? But do all habits fall into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categories? And do we need to ‘get rid of’ all our bad habits? Let’s discuss...
Understanding why you have the habits you have Let’s take coffee as an example: Having a coffee from time to time is more than just pep in a cup. It’s a ritual, a chance to sit down, catch up with friends or have a lovely break from our screens – creating a positive reward that we associate with the act of drinking coffee. For most of us, drinking coffee is an emotional attachment.
Emotional attachment to food is common and I would argue we all have emotional attachments to food, because if we don’t eat ... what happens? We can die. I don’t know about you, but I’m very emotionally attached to living. The problem comes when we are unaware of our emotional eating or when it becomes a habit. These habits, among many others, easily become ingrained in many people’s daily routines because they often come with a positive reward (yummy food and the brain chemistry that comes with).
Finding the motivation to remove habits that are no longer serving us can be hard!
Here are three tips to try:
1. Start small and stack habits
We truly believe that it’s all the little steps that help make big changes happen. While going ‘cold turkey’ can definitely work for some people, most people (us included!) will probably find this too much, too quick and far too restrictive. To make changing habits as easy as possible, we love the idea of habit ‘stacking.’ This is where you create a new habit on top of one that is already ingrained in your daily routine. For example, taking your morning nutritional support products (new habit) at the same time you have breakfast (existing habit).
2. Find your why
Like almost everything in life, forming new habits is easier when we know – and wholeheartedly believe in – why we’re doing it. Take a moment to write down why you want to make a change. Is it to support your hormones? Do you want to strengthen your immune system? Or need more energy to play with your children? Keeping our motivations top of mind helps us to see the bigger picture behind the change we are making.
3. Track your results
Habit trackers can be really motivational. This could look like a daily journal, a sticker chart or an app on your phone – whatever works best for you. Tracking our progress means that on days when things are feeling harder or life is just busy, we can feel inspired by seeing how far we’ve come. Remember, babies don’t learn to walk in one day – falling down, wobbles, it’s all part of the learning process. The more we fail and get back up, the stronger the habit pathways will become.