As creatures of habit, we tend to follow the same patterns and routines throughout our lives. We become acclimated to the potentially unhealthy or harmful habits we’ve formed previously, and it may become difficult to change your routine and build new, healthier habits that last a lifetime.
Creating long-lasting habits takes time, dedication, commitment, and good knowledge of yourself and your limits.
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
Tip 1: Setting Attainable Goals
One way to start your journey of incorporating long-lasting wellness routines into your lifestyle is by setting attainable goals to help you with healthier habits.
Setting goals can be beneficial in multiple ways: Providing a direction and sense of focus to a desired end, providing inspiration to complete a specific task for a desired reward, and even providing yourself with the accountability of whether you were able to achieve said goals.
When setting goals, it’s important that you create well-defined, attainable goals, rather than setting unrealistic expectations of yourself. Setting far-stretched goals can diminish your enthusiasm, as well as lower your self-esteem and motivation by failing to meet the personal expectations you’ve set of yourself. Setting unrealistic goals can also increase your stress and anxiety, which is counterproductive to reaching your target.
If you have a larger goal you’d like to reach, it may be beneficial to break that goal into smaller, more achievable targets. This can help you to stay more focused and dedicated to the task at hand, as well as make it easier to measure your progress toward your goals.
Tip 2: Consistency is Key
You may have heard the phrase “Consistency is Key” in many parts of your life. Well, in fact, consistency IS the key to building long-lasting habits.
Studies show that it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit, and on average, 66 days for that behavior to become automatic. (https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-to-form-a-habit ) With this being said, a new habit cannot be formed without commitment and dedication to the task. The more consistent you become, the easier the habit will be to stick, and the harder it will become to break.
Consistency not only helps to form long-lasting habits, but it also helps you to become disciplined, committed, and more patient with yourself.
Tip 3: Progress over Perfection
Choosing to embrace your progress over your perfection is one way to swap your mindset to a “progress mentality” to encourage building healthier long-lasting habits.
When creating and building habits, it’s important to keep track of progress toward solidifying that habit or reaching a desired goal. The more you are monitoring your progress made toward a goal, the more you are aware of your task and the likelier you are to succeed at achieving that goal.
Tip 4: Reward Yourself
We all need incentives…
You are your biggest source of inspiration & motivation...
Even the smallest goals deserve rewards when attained. When you give yourself a reward, your brain produces a feel-good hormone, dopamine, which makes us feel happy and reinforces behaviors as worthwhile. When you reinforce healthy behaviors – such as hitting milestones in your workouts or staying dedicated to a task for a period of time - as worthwhile, you’re training your body to naturally want to do more of those things you’re being rewarded for. This will make it easier for you to continue on your healthy-habit making ways, and enjoy the process with rewards while you’re doing so.