How To Build Long Term HabitsMaddy Slade | 12 Jan 2022
Ah January…the promise of a new year brings the prospect of new possibilities. January is the perfect time to set new goals and build some long term healthy habits, and that’s exactly what our New Year’s Revolutions programme is all about.
It can be all too easy to go head first into the New Year with good intentions and end up demotivated and burnt out by the end of week one. That’s why we’re breaking down our top tips on building long term habits so you can go into the year feeling your absolute best.
You got this A-Team!
First of all you need to get really clear on what it is you want to implement as a habit. The more specific you are here the better. It’s all well and good to say you want to start using your bike more regularly, or work on your mobility this year - but you’ll find it a lot more daunting and off putting if you leave it there without breaking this goal down further.
Instead of the general I want to's - nail down what it is you want and how you’re going to get there. Perhaps that’s - “I’m going to commit to doing two live classes a week,” or, “Every Sunday I’m going to unwind with a mobility session” - This helps to not only make your goals digestible, but you’ll also begin to build them into your routine and that’s when it will begin to feel like second nature.
Consistency is key -
Building a habit is easier if you make it part of your routine - perhaps this means scheduling in your workouts or meditations at the same times each week so you don’t even have to think about them - Try scheduling it in at the beginning of the week, that way it’s easier to make it a non-negotiable as it’s there in the diary, all you have to do is show up.
Start Small -
“Make it so easy you can’t say no” - Leo babauta
It’s important to start small and build from there. You need to be realistic, as much as you might want to be able to run a marathon within the month, it's important to set yourself small, attainable goals that you can build upon week to week. This is far more motivating and being able to track your progress will keep you going.
Why not try viewing these new practices as a fun experiment as opposed to something you either succeed in or fail? Challenge yourself to see if you can keep going and keep moving, despite whatever obstacles might come your way. Then if you do miss a session it will feel much less easier to get back on the back instead of feeling like that’s it, game over.
Find your why
Why exactly are you trying to ingrain this behaviour as a habit? Remember your why and it will make it that much easier to get up and get going.
As much as external rewards such as the aesthetic outcomes of working out can help us get started building habits, we need internal rewards for us to ingrain these habits into routine and make them stick.
These are things such as endorphins - if your body starts getting used to these on a regular basis, you’ll notice yourself begin to crave that movement for the incredible high after.
Moving your body feels good! Your body will begin to remember this and it will be oh so much easier to do those things that require perhaps a little more persuasion on a cold January morning…you’ll thank yourself for it after, we promise!
We hope these tips will help you set your habits and keep them well in 2022 and beyond!