Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do you have trouble making healthy habits stick?


We all have something that we would like to do better or more regularly.  Sometimes it is a simple as being able to walk out the door easily in the morning and be on time for work, for others they want to create healthy habits such as exercising, taking vitamins regularly or drinking plenty of water.  Our habits are also linked to our goals and the things that we want to accomplish.  Positive habits help us continually move closer to the things that we want.  What habits would you like to start or modify?


What do you want to change?  Once you have identified the behavior that you want to change or begin take a look at the things that you are already doing.  Is there a habit that you already have that you can pair with the new habit?  For example, if you want to remember to take vitamins every evening or morning, add them to a routine that you are currently doing such as brushing your teeth.

What isn’t working?  Have you tried to begin a habit and failed to make it stick?  Most of us have at one time or another.  Habits are hard to start and even harder to quit if it is a bad habit.  Take a look at what did not work.  Do you simply forget to do the task?  Did you not have what you needed or did you simply not want to do it?  Is the task not convenient?  Habits are much easier to maintain when they are simple and easy to do.  Create routines around your preferences rather than someone else’s recommendation.   

How can you change the current behavior to make it work for you?  Take a look at the time, location and your energy level.  Are you trying to make a morning habit that takes too long before work or you simply aren’t a morning person?  Try different times of day or week and see if the timing makes a difference.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  Just because the first few attempts did not work out does not mean that you should give up.  If the habit or task is worthwhile, then it is worth continuing.  You may need to modify your goal or give yourself permission to be less than perfect.

Bring in a professional.  Sometimes the most efficient solution is to bring in outside help.  A professional organizer can see the problems from many different angles at once without the emotional filter that you have.  They can also ask you questions that you most likely have not thought of yet and help you set up a system that will work for you and your habits rather than against them.

2 comments:

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