5 simple steps to creating healthy habits
and sticking with them
Being here means either:
- you want to do something really, (I mean really) good for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing or
- you’re here ‘by coincidence’ searching for something else. In this case, let me share this with you: there’s no such thing as a coincidence, you’re here for a reason (rubs the chin, looks up and thinks ?)
Do I need to create a healthy habit?
Short answer: probably, yes.
I bet you’ve seen posts like ’10 habits of highly successful people’ before, right? There’s so much proof that simple habits or routines work, and they really do – tried and tested!
Creating a healthy daily habit, even just a small one can create a life changing ripple effect, in a positive way of course. It can help anchor us in present moment, address addictive behaviour, decrease stress, improve our relationships, diet, sleep, productivity, boost creativity and so on. Basically it improves our overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
5 steps to creating a healthy habit
Follow these 5 steps and commit to performing your habit for at least 30 days to see how it affects your day to day life:
1. Choose something that works for you.
What works for your friend, neighbour or a celebrity you follow online doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Choose something that will serve you in the present moment, depending on where you’re at physically, what time of the year it is and how much time you’re willing to spend on it. Maybe a short meditation, pranayama or yoga Nidra practice if you’ve been feeling like your mind is all over the place or yoga asana practice if your body is stiff, achy or you’ve been feeding it a bit too much chocolate lately (wink, wink).
2. Be specific.
Choose a time that works best for you. Research has shown that having a morning routine works best because it sets the tone for the day ahead, but if you’re more of an evening person do that instead. I’m not a morning person myself but what I’ve learned over the past years is that my days are happier, brighter and more peaceful when I start my day with a morning routine that includes a silent sit.
3. Start small and simple.
Don’t put more that you can eat on your plate. Start with one healthy habit that doesn’t take too much time. Don’t worry if it’s small, you can grow your habits from there. Remember; “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” – Confucius
4. Share it with a family member, a friend or your yoga teacher.
Or maybe ask them to join you! You can keep each other accountable and keep the motivation going when one of you feels like quitting.
5. Commit and take action.
If not now, then when? Do your best to show up every day for 30 days.
How to make the habits stick?
This is probably the hardest part. We’ve all tried, and we’ve all failed, am I right? With a little bit of self-discipline, you can create habits that work, need little maintenance and will stick. Here are some tips to remember:
- All of the above suggestions also help us stick with the habits: creating habits that works for you and you enjoy doing, repeating it daily for 30 days, starting small, choosing a time that works and sharing you intentions with others.
- Remind yourself again and again. After two weeks we tend to forget and start to skip out – restart and be consistent, otherwise it loses its meaning of being a routine.
- Write down the reason you chose the habit and keep it in a visible spot. If you’re doing a morning routine, put it on your nightstand so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up.
- Don’t judge yourself if you stop returning to the habit at some point. We’re all human. What matters is that we can always begin again.
- Don’t be afraid to change the habit if it doesn’t work for you anymore. But before you toss it in the ‘this doesn’t work’ bin, stick with it for at least a week, don’t give up too quickly.
Now your turn. What will you commit to in the next 30 days? Choose the template bellow and insert your healthy habit.
I commit to __________________ for ___ minutes.
Here’s one example:
I commit to meditation practice first thing in the morning for at least 10 minutes.
When you decide on what would serve you best in this moment, keep on going. You got this!
More from Do Yoga With Lina:
Join our Do Yoga With Lina Community group on Facebook if you haven’t already, find someone who might be starting the same habit as you and cheer each other up!
You can also visit my YouTube channel for some guided yoga practices. My 10-minute Morning Yoga Flow has been quite popular with my students. Some of you are already doing it every morning – great job, keep on going! You can also try a 7-min Calming Breath Meditation, 12-min Chair Yoga Reset or Yoga in Bed series.