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Building Healthy Habits That Last

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Start with small habits that lead to long-term positive change.

Imagine that every day for the last year you tucked away $1 into a secret hiding place.  Right now you would have over $300 to spend on whatever you wanted.  Building good habits is similar to this, only you might not have a shopping spree at the end of the year.  It’s making small sacrifices that lead to significant life changes, and, like dipping your finger into a pond, the ripples eventually make waves.  

How To Make Habits Stick

  1. Focus on a simple change that is easily attainable.  For example, if exercise is your goal, try doing some form of exercise for 3 minutes a day.

  2. Commit to three weeks instead of an entire year.  It takes about a month for new habits to form, so if you can do it for three weeks, why not four?

  3. Recognize your crux–which is the hardest part.  Timing-wise, the crux for getting into a routine is somewhere around week two.  Write down other cruxes that keep you from your goal mentally, emotionally, and motivationally.

  4. Break things up into smaller steps.  Write down a big picture goal and then some small steps that include something specific and achievable that you will commit yourself to doing every day.

  5. Fall forward if you fall short .  Don’t beat yourself up, just try not to make the same mistake twice.  If the same mistake happens over and over again, look into why this bad habit is becoming one of those cruxes and sabotaging your efforts.

  6. Redefine failures as opportunities to improve.  There’s always room for improvement.  Again, don’t let it get you down, pick yourself back up and say “Yesterday’s mistake doesn’t have to become today’s failure.”

  7. Create a mantra that means something and say it out loud every day.  Write it down and make it happen.  Star athletes in every sport have their own mantra why shouldn’t you?  After all, “Every day is a training day.”

  8. Prepare for future success.  If getting out of bed is difficult, go ahead and pour a glass of water and set out your clothes for the next day and place them nearby.  If creative writing or journaling is a goal, create a clutter free space that only has your pen and paper.

As we approach the new year, looking forward, imagining a better version of day to day life, what are some things you might want to improve upon?  Habit-building is an important skill for everyone.  Healthy habits lead to healthy lives physically, mentally, and emotionally.  At the end of the day, that’s our goal for every person who steps through our doors.

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