Building Habits

When they say slow and steady wins the race, they are not wrong. Living in a fast-paced society that expects quick fixes, you see tons of one time “solutions” or fads claiming you will get results right away. The truth is – results take time, and steady consistency trumps fast fixes. Therefore, building healthy habits is crucial to long lasting results. The behavior eventually becomes part of your lifestyle as opposed to something that is “one and done.”

Need some help building habits? Here is my take on building habits:

1. Identify what your goal is and then break it down into steps! Start with the easiest step. Once you can sustain that for 2 weeks. Progress it to the next simple step. For example, let’s say my ultimate goal is to drink 80 oz of water, and I only drink 64 oz (based on my Hydroflask and refilling it once). Since I consistently drink 64 oz a day, I could start with slow increases just a few times a week like adding an extra 8 oz class on 1 – 2 days out of the week. Even if it seems like the most miniscule step, I would rather have you be successful doing that before moving on. It is important to have a solid foundation to build upon. Take baby steps if you must, and over time this will lead to your ultimate goal.

2. Have SMART goals! Is this goal specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely? Identify and target that particular goal and start with one goal at a time. The goal must be quantitative so you can track and measure progress. The goal must also be achievable and realistic. If the goal is not realistically within reach, then you set yourself up for failure. Set yourself up for success with an achievable goal. Lastly, it must be timely. Is there a specific deadline you want to achieve this by? With a deadline, we are motivated to achieve it by this time and can devise a plan to get it done by then.

3. Track your progress! Going back to having a measurable goal, tracking how you are doing will show how much progress you are making and if we need to make any changes to your habit. Be sure to measure where you are now when you start so you can see how far you come! You can jot them down in a journal or use an app.

4. Adjust the plan accordingly! Let’s say you are having some challenges keeping up with the habit. Practice compassion and patience for yourself and the process! It is 100% okay to tweak the goal, so you are set up for success! Maybe those 2 extra days of cardio is not quite sustainable right now, so have only 1 extra day of cardio. See how that goes and then move forward from there.

5. Celebrate the wins – big or small! Trust the process and have fun with it along the way! I love celebrating everything, even if it is the smallest bit of progress. It is worth praising!

6. Have a support system! Get some family and friends in on your habits so they can help hold you accountable, support you, cheer you on, or maybe even join you too!

Creating sustainable habits around your goals will help you achieve them! Eventually these once new habits will automatically become part of your lifestyle!

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