Changing habits can be so hard! I know for me personally, it can come with lots of stops and starts. I start a new habit on a Monday and then one day, it’s too rainy, cold, hot, late, I’m too tired, etc. Then, I skip the next day and the next day and maybe a month or more goes by. I get mad at myself and then I get motivated to start again. Don’t you wish it were easier?
I learned a trick from author and habit expert, James Clear, in his book, Atomic Habits. He said to anchor a new habit to an already established habit, like brushing your teeth or getting dressed. For example, if you want to be better about eating healthier at work, maybe you will vow to take your lunch to work instead of eating out. But, maybe that habit is hard for you because you run out of ideas for what to take to work for lunch. You can link the habit of making your lunch to cleaning the dinner dishes the night before. One of my favorite things to eat for lunch is leftovers from dinner. So what I do, is cook a little extra and then put the leftovers in single serving containers to eat the next day or freeze them for another day. (This works really well with soup. You can freeze a lot of single servings to pull out on a day when you don’t have lunch.) If you take your lunch to work, you can pack all of it up and grab it the next morning when you get your keys and bag.
Here are some more examples of habits to pair together:
-Leave work- drive straight to the gym
-Brush your teeth- get dressed for morning yoga
-Take a bath- get in bed to read
-Get off treadmill-make a smoothie
-Read an inspirational book- meditate
What is a new habit you can anchor to an established one?
If you’re finding that you are too often neglecting yourself and this is hard for you, I’m taking on a couple new clients in the next few weeks. It’s time to put your own health first. Not doing so will cost you quality time with your loved ones and more and more health problems.
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