Trying To Create A New Healthy Habit? How Small Do You Need To Start?

I bet you know this one: Monday morning comes and you are resetting your health and fitness routine. You did well at the beginning of last week but by the time the weekend came it all started falling apart. We’ve all been there. 

Why does it keep happening? 

Because we want it all and we want it right now. Lose some weight overnight, get fit by next Monday and sleep 8 hours every night.

And when we are in that ‘I must do something about this RIGHT NOW‘ mindset we usually set ourselves tasks that are waaaaay too big. Whilst motivation is high (usually after a big night out or a particularly heavy meal) we are ready to tackle anything

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What we usually forget is the fact that motivation won’t stay this high. And we actually have other things to get on with in life.

After a few days of keeping up the good work, it all just seems too hard

We can’t keep going and give in. Plus, we blame ourselves and feel bad.

You might say to yourself something like: I don’t have enough willpower. I am weak and a failure. I’ll never get there. I might as well give up now. There is always next week, next month, next …. 

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Unless you have absolutely nothing else going on in your life and you can commit all your time and energy to your new healthy habit the fact remains:

To be able to continue with your new behaviour consistently it needs to be small.

But how small is small enough? And how do you know? 

Here are 3 habit hacks to make sure your new healthy habit is tiny and thus sustainable. 

Every time you start with a new habit ask yourself these three questions: 

  • How long does it take to do this behaviour and do I have the time to do it consistently?
    ​Think about your daily routine and where and when you might be able to fit in your new habit. Be realistic and honest.
  • On a scale of 0-10 (0 being not confident at all and 10 being 100% confident), how confident am I that I can do this behaviour on an ongoing basis
    You need to be around a 9! Anything less and it won’t work.
  • Just double checking: On a really, really bad day can I still do this behaviour? 
    The answer needs to be Yes!

If you are unsure about any of the three answers, make your habit easier to do. How can you change it so it takes less time, mental or physical energy?

It’s all about being realistic. What can you squeeze into your already busy life without feeling overwhelmed and without it becoming something you dread. Life is supposed to be fun, remember? 

Happy healthy habit building, 

Julia
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