January’s the month where we start to notice more fresh faces at the gym. We see our friends opting for salad over fries at dinner. We promise ourselves that this is the year we stick to our resolutions. We tell ourselves, “it’s never too late to start” and “the best time is now.” We intend to follow our resolutions, but what we really should be working on is habit formation.
What are Habits?
When we think about what habits really are, we attribute it to an action that comes to us naturally. It’s what we do on a daily basis, without even recognizing it. It’s how we brush our teeth in the morning to how we sort through our emails. We all have our own way of living and doing things. Habits set into our unconscious mind and become, in a sense, automatic. So while we’re making resolutions to exercise more, what we’re ultimately trying to achieve is a lifestyle change generated from new habits. With hard work and dedication, attending your weekly yoga classes or getting up as soon as your alarm rings will become second nature.
Here are 6 steps to developing new habits. We’re not going to call them easy, because breaking old habits and making new ones is hard. (But it’ll be worth it.)
1) You’re already halfway there.
Becoming aware of the habits you want to change is an achievement in itself. By recognizing certain habits that aren’t adding value to your life, you will become more aware of them when making decisions. We all have our vices. Just know that you have control over them.
2) Ask yourself why.
Why do you want to make this change? Are these changes being made for yourself or others? Fundamentally, you need to believe in yourself and want to carry out these changes for them to stick.
3) Small wins matter.
Acknowledge the small wins and give yourself credit. Appreciate your efforts and know that they’re important in achieving your goals. Treat yourself in your own way.
4) Make simple substitutions.
Making simple substitutions is part of our mission at PUR. You don’t need to move mountains to make small lifestyle improvements. Making simple substitutions is about putting one less pack of sugar in your coffee, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or opting for lettuce wraps over a burger!
5) Write it down, somewhere.
Some call it journaling, a diary, planner – whatever it is, just write it down. Life happens and we get busy, fall into routine, and fall out of awareness with ourselves. Taking time reflect on our day will promote personal awareness and accountability when working towards new goals.
6) Work out your mind.
Your brain is a muscle. It needs TLC too! Willpower itself can become a habit. With this strength, you possess the discipline, perseverance, and diligence to fulfil your goals. We often have motivation, but lack the strength and discipline to follow through.
Tell us what you think below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and what’s been helping you the most. What are your plans for change in 2017? Keep us posted.