There’s never a convenient time to start a new habit. Between all our commitments and responsibilities, it’s hard to fit in time for yourself to developing new healthy habits. But it’s still possible! The first step is to create SMART goals, and from there, using a variety of tools and techniques to make sure your habit sticks.
Whatever your new healthy habit, it won’t become a habit until you repeat it over and over. When you first start out, you’ll need a little boost. Automatic reminders will give you that little nudge you need to make your habit stick. In the above example, you could set a reminder on your phone to pack your lunch in the evening, and another reminder mid-day to go for a walk. If your new habit is to get more use out of your sit stand desk while at work, a smartphone connected desk switch can provide sit stand reminders and ergonomic goal tracking (like the Sentinel Sit Stand Desk with Bluetooth Switch). Reminders help you stay on track until your goal becomes a habit.
If you’re rushed, stressed, or unprepared, it’s easier to skip a day (or two...) on your new healthy habits. Plan ahead so you can stay on track and meet your goals. Pack your lunch the night before, keep your tennis shoes in your work bag or at your desk, and block out time to work on your new habits. If you want to take walks at lunch time, mark your calendar at that time so your schedule is clear. Keep your refrigerator and pantry stocked with healthy, packable lunch options so packing your lunch the night before is a breeze.
Accountability makes us much more likely to stick to our goals and make habits stick. Find a colleague to join you on your walks, swap healthy recipes with a friend or family member, share your goals and progress on social media, and if you need extra support, reach out to people in your network for encouragement.
Adopting a new habit is not easy at first, but you’ll find it gets easier the more you do it. Celebrate the little successes as you go and keep it up if you fall behind. Habits become habits with repetition, so even if you don’t love it at first, fake it ‘til you make it! Eventually, your new habit will become second nature.