How To Build & Maintain Good Habits
It can be easy to get caught up in New Years’ Resolutions and tell yourself “New Year, New Me!” when it comes to developing healthy habits. However, resolutions can often fail when you don’t take the time to establish those habits in ways that make sense. You don’t need to create a “new you” to start living your happiest, healthiest life; you can start building good habits and integrating them into your life one step at a time. Here are our top tips for kickstarting new habits for the New Year.
How Long Does It Take to Form a Habit?
If we could form habits instantly, it would make getting and staying healthy a lot less daunting. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to make a new routine stick – experts say it usually takes approximately 2 months. However, depending on your goal, it might take longer.
Our biggest piece of advice is to go easy on yourself when trying to form a new habit – it won’t happen right away, and you will slip up sometimes. Think of your current habits that you don’t even think about, like drinking a cup of coffee every morning. If you skipped your cup of coffee, would you get angry at yourself for forgetting it and pledge to never drink coffee again? Or would you simply pour yourself a cup the next morning?
When you slip up, be kind to yourself – this does not make you a failure. Staying patient is difficult, but it is essential; staying motivated to keep going with your healthy habits is better than giving up altogether.
Take It One Step at A Time
One of the reasons that people don’t achieve their New Years’ resolutions is because they try to do way too much. While it’s great to have big goals, if you try to go from zero to one hundred all at once, you’ll burn yourself out and become discouraged. This is why it’s better to break down goals into small, manageable steps.
Say that your goal is to lose weight; ideally, you want to lose fifty pounds. However, if you haven’t ever gone to the gym before and don’t know where to start exercising, this is a huge endeavour. However, smaller goals are far easier to reach. If you start by taking a daily walk for thirty minutes and eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, you can check each of these healthy habits off of your list at the end of the day. While you might not lose that weight instantly, you will be able to feel good about taking daily steps towards that goal. Once these first small steps become habits, you can add more goals into your daily routine.
Establish Daily Rituals
Establishing daily rituals can turn your daily routines from a chore to something that brings you a lot of joy. Let’s reflect on the goals that we made above. If you’re incorporating five fruits and vegetables a day, that can seem overwhelming. However, you can use this as an excuse to make your favorite dishes with extra vegetables added. You can turn your nightly meal prep into a delicious part of your day that you look forward to.
An important thing to remember when turning a routine into a ritual is that it must incorporate things that make you happy. If you’re someone who absolutely loves to cook, the cooking ritual at the end of the day can be rewarding – in fact, it might already be one of your daily rituals! However, if you hate cooking, you’ll want to incorporate something that you love. Maybe you can put on your favorite TV show, or listen to your favorite podcast, while you’re preparing vegetables. There is no right answer – it’s about finding something that works for you.
Finally, make a habit of rewarding yourself after completing your daily routine. Maybe it’s with a piece of chocolate, a cup of tea, or a soothing bath after taking a walk. Either way, you’ll feel more fulfilled than you did before doing your routine.
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
Losing weight is one of the most popular New Years’ Resolutions… and one of the hardest to accomplish. Achieving a goal of healthy and sustainable weight loss can be extremely difficult. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, integrating healthy habits isn’t enough to become the weight that will allow you to live life to the fullest.
You don’t have to approach weight loss alone. Here at the Weight Loss and Wellness Center, we’re experienced in helping people get back to their most fulfilled selves. Dr. Majid and her team are experts in bariatric surgery, nutrition, and weight loss support. With their help, you’ll have a weight loss plan that works for your body and lifestyle. Take the next step to reach your goals – book a consultation at the Weight Loss and Wellness Center today.