The topic of health has been a big one this year! I’m sure we can all agree. Many times we fear being unhealthy which means reaching optimal health is something we are striving for.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to think about what health means to you.
So, in reflecting on this, what can we do to ensure we are living the healthiest life we can?
This question can be answered in the way we live our lives through the habits and routines we follow. We all have habits we’d like to break, end all together and replace with heathier ones, right? Becoming healthier means making changes. It’s a matter of making changes that will last for good! New habit formation here we come!
I’m excited to share with you today what it really takes to form healthier habits so that you can become the best version of you!
Let’s talk about the science
Firstly, as you learn to create a new habit, it’s going to require patience, consistency and grace. New habit formation takes time and will never be an overnight change. The average amount of time it takes for a new habit to develop is approximately 63 days or 3 cycles of 21 days.
Most people believe a new habit is completely automated after 21 days. This is not the case. After 21 days there is progress, but it still takes conscious practice on your part. After daily practice of the habit (7-10 minutes a day), the new thought is small and will need to continue to grow. The new thought and practice will need to be built through at least 2 more cycles of 21 days. That puts us at 63 days. At this point, the new thought will be implanted.
Keep in mind this also is the process for developing ANY new habit, even a negative one, which of course we want to avoid.
What’s going on as we form a new habit?
As we rewire, we are uprooting treelike substances from the brain and planting new ones. Think of a real tree. It needs water, fertilizer and sun to grow. In habit formation, continuous, daily practice is essentially the nutrients our brain trees need to grow.
Here is an example:
Let’s say I want to form a new habit of eating 2 extra servings of veggies per day. This means everyday, I will need to set 2 reminders for myself to eat extra veggies in addition to my normal consumption. So, at noon and 6pm I will set 2 reminders that will alert me daily. (The 2 times of day are by choice; any hours work but this is when I generally have lunch and dinner) By keeping alarms, I am setting myself up for success. If that isn't plausible for you then try our Maximum Vibrance Superfood! I will be certain to meet my goals by following the guidelines I have set in place for myself.
It’s important to note, depending on the new habit being formed, some will take longer or shorter than others. Based off of research, exercise usually takes 1.5 times longer and more effort to achieve than simpler goals such as drinking or eating habits. Also, I recommend only working on 1-4 new habits at a time. Do not overcommit! By adding more than 4 new habits, it will cause overwhelm and make it harder to obtain optimal results. Focus on a few and give it your all!
Hold yourself accountable!
As you take positive steps, I encourage you to track your habits. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Maybe make a quick note in your phone at the end of the day to keep document how you did that day. Write about how you feel about your progress. If you like to keep a physical copy of something, write it in a journal. I also encourage others to play a part in your success. For example, if you are working towards an exercise goal, ask a friend to join. Plan the week ahead which days you’re going to work out together. This makes it fun and helps hold the two of you accountable to each other. Its’s a win-win!
Some Healthy Habit Ideas:
- Earlier wake up time
- Earlier bed time
- Daily exercise
- Drink more water
- Break a coffee addiction
- Spend time journaling
- Read for enjoyment daily
- Invest for retirement
- Increase your income
- Stick to a budget
- Spend more time with the family
- Think more positively
The list is endless, but these are just a few examples if you are looking to add in some healthy habits. If you already have some you are wanting to work on, what are they? I’d love to hear from you!
You can do it!
In the end, be patient with yourself and enjoy the progress. You aren’t going to perform perfectly every time, but as long as you give intentional effort and focus for 63 days, you will be well on your way to forming any new healthy habit you desire! Plus, if we didn’t fail or make mistakes, how would we learn from them?
Ask yourself, how badly do you want to form a healthier habit. The work will be worth it if you are ready to practice every day for two or three months, which is really not that long considering you have your whole life ahead of you!
So, cheers to a happier, healthier and fun new adventure as you begin a journey of habit formation that will carry into the new year! There is no better time than now to start a new journey. Why not make it part of a New Year’s resolution?! I believe in you!