We all know that healthy habits help us feel good and live longer. Yet, many of us struggle with sticking to good habits that can transform our lives. Why so? Because most likely, we are looking for a “quick fix”. We are looking to place a band-aid on our problems. The truth is. These are short-term solutions that will not get us to the root causes but rather re-surface after some time. That’s why in today’s blog post, I will be sharing how you can build healthy habits that will last.
What Is A Habit?
A habit is any action we perform subconsciously. We are programmed to think, act and do things a certain way. This usually happens by repeating the same process over and over.
Do you ever think about the way you get into your car, buckle your seatbelts and drive to your destiny? Or how about finding that Instagram or Facebook app on your cell phone?
No. We don’t think about these activities because through, repetition it’s now automated. We do these everyday things without thinking about how we are doing them. Mentally we love having habits because it brings about efficiency for us.
According to U.K-born Psychologist Wendy Wood, 43% of daily behaviors are performed out of habit. Crazy right?!
How Long Does It Take To Build A New Habit
I’m almost sure if you ask someone this question, they will say between 21 to 28 days. For some, this may be true, for others forming healthy habits that will last may take much longer because like many other things in life there’s no one size fit.
According to Phillippa Lally in a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it can take anything between 18 – 254 days for people to form a new habit. This is an average of 66 days.
At the same time, it depends on the habit you are building, your circumstances, and your perseverance.
So, don’t be disappointed if you fail at building a new one within 28 days. Ultimately, it can take you anything between 2 months to 8.5 months.
Benefits of Building Healthy Habits That Will Last
We have already established cultivating healthy habits will not happen overnight. It takes time and determination. But, the benefits can be miraculous.
If you are willing to make the change, here are some of the many benefits you can inherit.
Achieve Your Goals
Do you have a goal of writing your first book? Or maybe starting a new business? Becoming a parent? Whatever your goals are. They are not going to happen overnight. You have to put the work in and work towards it. The perfect way to do this is by curating healthy habits that will help you to be more efficient in achieving these goals.
Create And Live Your Dream Life
Sometimes we stay stuck living a life that’s not fulfilling because we are afraid of changes. You know, making changes like giving up a bad habit. When we build healthy habits into our lives, we can stay more focused – and not only dream bigger but actually pursue these dreams. Through these new habits that you’ve opted for, you will be able to strengthen your self-worth through self-love. You will feel empowered and motivated to keep pushing. And you will also recognize that the sky is the limit, and therefore will keep pushing toward your dreams.
Live A Healthier Lifestyle
When you begin building healthy habits that will last – you will be taking actions to live a healthier lifestyle. When you choose to live a healthy life, you will be taking care of yourself as a mom. (something many moms struggle with these days). You will be showing up in the healthiest and best version of yourself. The version that you truly desire to be.
Become The Happiest Person You Will Ever Know
Happiness is something we all thrive on, right?
Yet, it seems so far-fetched for many of us.
By building healthy habits, that will last, we will be moving in the right direction to becoming the happiest you’ve ever been.
Think about it. Changing the habit – from eating a slice of chocolate cake daily to eating a slice of sugar-free gluten brownie may prevent you from high blood sugar. Or what about always coming from a place of lack you decide to show up and glorify the abundance in your life? Or just maybe, instead of reacting impulsively, you choose to pause, breathe and think through your reactions before responding.
Did you see how all these changes can lead you to live a happier life?
Be An Inspiration To Others
Impacting the lives of others can bring so much joy to you. In fact, that’s what inspired me to start this blog. After seeing my own transformational journey, I wanted to make a difference in the lives of moms – who were exactly where I was.
When your friends and families begin seeing how much you’ve grown from building lasting healthy habits, they will be inspired to do and make changes in their own lives. Now, wouldn’t that be incredible?! To be an inspiration to others while you are constantly evolving!
It will definitely make you feel good. Giving you a sense of fulfillment.
How To Form Healthy Habits That Will Last
We’ve already established that creating healthy lasting habits, will take some work on your path. And it’s not going to be an easy road. It’s a journey that you will have to stay committed to.
Here are 10 ways you can build healthy habits that will last.
Identify Your New Healthy Habit
What healthy habits would you like to add to your lifestyle? What is it? Is it to lose weight or maybe, just eat healthier meals and reduce your sugar consumption? Would you like to stop yelling at your kids and be more present with them as a mom? Or maybe you want to start socializing more with like-minded moms? How about reducing your grocery spending and saving more money so you can move into financial independence?
Why Do You Want To Build This Healthy Habit
Asking ourselves why at the end of every question tend to take us deeper. It helps us to – unlock the exact purpose we may want something and how badly we may want it.
It may not come as a surprise that I’m suggesting you now ask yourself why you want to build this healthy habit. Is it because you want to live longer? Or you want to be loved more? Maybe, you want financial independence, or you want to live life the best possible way you can?
So again. Take a few minutes and journal why you want this new habit.
Recognize Your Triggers
If you’ve tried building new habits before but never really succeeded, this could be one of the reasons why you kept failing at it. You didn’t quite recognize what has been deterring you from maintaining them. You need to check in with your feelings and understand what triggers you to deter from maintaining your new habit and how you respond to it.
So here’s an epic example.
You are trying to reduce your sugar intake – however, every time you reach for that evening cup of tea or coffee, you find yourself munching on that deep dutch chocolate brownie or giving in to that sweet tooth craving of yours. It happens! I know, I’ve been there before, when I tried adopting healthy habits.
So in cases like these, we need to have a plan.
Create A Plan
So, why not put a plan into action? We’ve already established from Phillippa Lally’s research that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit. Building healthy habits that will last will not be an overnight “success thing.” It takes time, commitment, and the ability to be resilient.
We are going to have slip-ups along the way. But, having a plan in place can help us get through those days.
Add into your plan steps that you can take when you fail to commit to your good habits and revert to your bad habits.
Bad habits are entrenched in us, and to successfully break that “bad habit,” you have to include a motivator that keeps you pushing forward. This is where you can reflect on your why. Why do you want to break this bad habit of yours? How do you plan to bounce back when you slip up? ( and you will slip up) After all, we are only humans. So it makes sense to incorporate a good habit to replace your bad habit.
From the example above – replace your brownie or sugar snack with a slice of fruit or sugar-free cookie or maybe even dates.
Another example maybe – you are unable to take care of yourself as a mom and are trying really hard to prioritize self-care, but house chores or looking after the kids – prevent you from doing that. You can replace that “doing mode” by simply tapping into your “relaxation mode” every day at the same time and make it non-negotiable. Stop what you are doing and make time for yourself without feeling guilty. Even if it means – just sitting and sipping on a cup of tea or going for a walk. Reading a book. Whatever it is, commit the time to yourself.
Forgive Yourself When You Fail
Forgiving can be difficult at times. But when it comes to evolving and moving on, we must forgive ourselves. Failing to forgive ourselves will keep us stuck.
Like I said above, you will have slip-ups, you will fail and feel like throwing in the towel. But here’s the thing! Some of our biggest lessons are learned through failures and slip-ups. So my friend, forgive yourself. Don’t be upset if you mess up one day – and reverted to your old habits. Forgive yourself and your actions, and you can always start again.
Keep Yourself Accountable
Many times we are told to have an accountable partner. And sometimes that works out great and other times not so good. Keep yourself accountable by writing your goals for building your healthy habits that will last. You can use the format below.
” I choose to be kinder by surrendering my need to judge others by _________________.”( insert date here)
” I’m committed to being the healthiest version of me.”( insert date here)
” I will be taking better care of myself because I deserve it.”
” I want financial freedom and as a result is committed to saving.”
” I’m committed to showing up and being consistent in building my dream biz.”
Once you have these written out – it’s advisable to keep these in front of you as much as possible. Here are some tips on how you can keep yourself accountable.
- Take a few minutes and write your new habit/s out daily.
- Sit, and imagine what your life would look like when you have built these new habits.
- Take a picture of the new habits you’ve written for yourself and save it as your screensaver.
- If you feel a bit uncomfortable sharing your new habits with anyone ( which you shouldn’t feel by the way), you can stick your habit goals on your closet door. So each morning as you open your closet, it will be there starring at you, in your own privacy.
Commit To Personal-growth
It’s very easy to think – your good habits are not achievable when you keep slipping up. Personally, I feel like this when it comes to my addiction to sweets. Staying committed to growing and focusing on the habits you would like to form is important. Commit to making the change so you can reap the rewards of your good habits. Keep growing. Personal growth is vital in everything we do!
Express Gratitude For Small Wins
As moms, we tend to be extremely hard on ourselves, and as a result, we don’t recognize our small wins. Let’s celebrate every milestone by expressing gratitude. You, see when we express gratitude (regardless of how small it is), we will attract more into our lives.
When we express gratitude, we feel good and, when we feel good, we are more productive and can stay focus. That same good feelings allow us to feel worthy and confident in what we are doing. The more confident you feel, the faster you will be able to build healthy habits, that will last.
Evaluate Your Progress
Quite often, we fail to evaluate our progress because we are afraid of the results. Remember, building new habits is not an overnight success. It takes time! And you must analyze and evaluate the progress you’ve made ( no matter how little it is). If you are not progressing as well as you would, then refer back to your Habit Plan. What did you put in place for when you are not getting the results you anticipated? Is there something you can do differently to get more results? What is holding you back from achieving your goals?
Building new habits and getting rid of old ones is ongoing. Once you are in this self-discovery and personal growth space, you will always be learning and will always want to do more, which will require building new habits and getting rid of those that no longer serve you. So, keep educating yourself on ways you can grow and learn. Whether – that looks like reading blog posts, looking at YouTube videos, or taking a free or paid online course.
Choosing to get rid of old habits and building new ones that – will improve your life is such a big step in your personal growth journey. Keep moving forward and thriving to be the healthiest version of YOU.
Let me know in the comments. Are you currently working on building any healthy habits in your life?