We all want to implement habits that help us be healthy, fulfilled and confident, but how do we actually make those habits routine? Starting new routines or reclaiming old ones can seem daunting. Change is hard and we all need some help to kick start those changes and be successful long term. Today I’ll be sharing 5 tips to help you reset your habits for a healthy and fulfilling Spring season.
Changing Habits Step 1. Determine Obstacles
We all have setbacks and we all face hurdles when it comes to healthy habits and routines. The important part about change and the ability to move forward is recognizing and understanding your roadblocks. This could come in the form of a list, a chat with a loved one or a therapeutic art session. Take some time to get clear on what has been holding you back. Is it time, lack of preparedness, or not having the tools for success?
For me, I found that in January I had really started slacking on my exercise. When I examined why I realized that I had social plans or work almost every night during the week and when I got home I was EXHAUSTED. Getting clear on my obstacles allowed me to me to make a plan for my reset and be successful. I’ll be sharing more on those steps in the tips below.
Changing Habits Step 2. De-clutter Your Life
“Spring cleaning” may sound like it’s about dust bunnies and closets but when applied to your schedule and priorities it can be extremely beneficial. Just like you may Marie Condo your drawers, think about that same de-cluttering approach to your schedule. What events (that are choices) bring you joy. Sure you can’t skip work or that doctor’s appointment, but I am sure there are plenty of other things you add in and convince yourself they are essential.
As I mentioned above one of my biggest things keeping me from healthy habits was time. Being over committed prevented me from making time for my well-being. In the past month, I decided to declutter my schedule by saying “No”. I will not tell you it was/is easy and I continue to have FOMO all the time. Though saying no, and missing out is hard, it has without a doubt, been the best thing for my physical and mental health.
Changing Habits Step 3. Start Small
It’s so easy to look at your habits and think I literally need/want to change EVERYTHING. The reality is if you attempt to make too many changes at once none of them will be successful. Start with small and attainable goals. As a former teacher I like to fall back on the SMART goals methodology. In order for goals to be attainable they have to meet the criteria below.
Over the past month, I wanted to amp up my workout routine, but this left too much variance and a lack of accountability.. In order to turn it into a SMART goal I added some specifics
I will complete a high impact form of exercise 4 days a week for the next 30 days.
- Specific – Yes this goals is not just about exercise, it is specific to high impact exercise
- Measurable – Yes, I am tracking my workouts each night in my journal and I can track them in the Tone It Up app
- Achievable – Yes, I initially wanted to say 5 days a week but I know myself and my schedule and decided that 4 days per week to start was more achievable.
- Relevant – Yes, this goal is relevant to my life and my current priorities.
- Time-Bound – Yes, this goal is both time-bound each week and measurable over a 30 day period.
Now it’s your turn. Choose a habit you want to reset and take it through the SMART goal review.
Changing Habits Step 4. Prepare for Success
You have identified your obstacles, set a clear attainable goal and now you are ready for action. Without preparation, you will be stopped in your tracked. Since you already know your obstacles, it will be easier to lay out your action steps and prepare for success.
In my example those preparation steps included having cute workout clothes (of course), making sure my workout gear was easily accessible when I got home each day and planning other commitments around workout time so my exercise habit was always a priority. I am sharing this gem of a photo with you below of my Tone It Up HIIT workouts done in my kitchen haha. It’s not pretty but I get it done!
What are you doing to prepare for tomorrow’s success?
Changing Habits Step 5. Find an Accountability Partner
The hardest part about change is the maintenance stage. At the beginning we are so motivated and excited it’s easy to be successful for at least a few days. It’s in between days 7-21 day that we may start to fall off the routines. We haven’t fully formed the habit in our brains yet, so it’s easy to loss momentum and see our motivation fall off.
So how do we counteract this? Accountability is key. Sure having a tracking sheet, journaling or using an app is great but sometimes we need more than just an individual level of accountability. It’s time for an accountability partner. This could be a friend, a partner, a colleagues or a social media buddy. Ideally this will be someone who understand your goals and support your dedication to these habits. If they share your goals even better you can complete some of your habits/activities together.
My mom is my biggest accountability partner. She has been exercising daily my entire life! Not only is that a huge inspiration to me but talking with her about exercise is a passive form of accountability for me. It doesn’t have to be a daily check in but knowing someone else is cheering you on and holding you accountable to your healthy habits is essential for that long term success.
In order to successful change and maintain your healthy habits you must:
- Determine the obstacles
- Declutter & Prioritize
- Start Small SMART Goals
- Prepare for Success
- Find an Accountability Partner