With the new year here, implementing new, healthier habits is at top of mind for most of us. Whether you want to wake up earlier, exercise more, meditate daily, or keep your home nice and tidy, making a new habit stick is way easier said than done. The good news is that learning a new habit is only tough at the beginning. Once you've ingrained that new behavior into your daily routine, the rest feels like a breeze. Lucky for you, we have a few tricks up our sleeve that will help you actually stick to your new habits and make 2017 the best year ever.
Give Yourself Little Rewards
No matter what habit you're trying to build, it's not easy, and your hard work should definitely be rewarded. Giving yourself little treats will help keep your spirits and motivation high. One caveat: Don't get into the habit of treating yourself to things that aren't good for you (we're looking at you, donuts) because that creates a whole different problem. Be sure to pick rewards that make you feel good and are good for you like buying yourself a healthy smoothie, taking a bubble bath, or splurging on a yoga class at that fancy studio you love.
Put it on the Schedule
Let's be real. If your new habit is not on your schedule, it's not going to happen. Just because you write it on your to do list and place sticky notes everywhere to remind you, that doesn't mean you're actually going to do it. You have to designate a specific time in your day for it and not schedule anything else during that time slot. Doing something at the same time everyday will also help to speed up the habit-building process.
Remember Every Day is Fresh Start
When it comes to starting a new habit, slip-ups are inevitable. Just because you missed a day at the gym, it doesn't mean you've failed or that you should give up on exercising all together. Building a new habit is a daily decision. And every single day provides a fresh start. Don't wait until Monday, or the next month, or the next year to start your habit again. Just start again the next day.
Make New Habits Convenient
Often times, the reason we get into a bad habit rut is because it's the most convenient thing to do at the time. (Who hasn't grabbed a hunger-induced double cheeseburger?) So, in order to establish a new habit, you have to make it as easy and convenient as possible. For example, if you're trying to eat healthier, try meal prepping at the beginning of the week. If you already have ready-to-be-eaten food in the fridge at all times, it becomes much more convenient to eat at home than it is to run out and grab junk food.
Keep Track of Your New Habits
Tracking is a super useful technique to help you solidify a habit. Having proof of your hard work makes you feel really good and also provides some accountability, which motivates you to keep going. There's tons of apps out there that help you track goals but simply putting gold star stickers on your calendar will do the trick too.