A Better Self

From Habit to Lifestyle

We all know the empty promises we make of quitting a bad habit or starting a healthy new one. We typically seem hell-bent on making it happen and may put even great effort at first. Then, something happens. We tell ourselves it isn’t worth it, it’s too hard, I don’t have time, I just don’t want to, etc. We slip into a yo-yo effect of making healthier or better decisions, only to give up and regress to where we were before. We effortlessly slide back into what was our comfort zone, and either stay there for the long haul, or delve back into the yo-yo effect once again.

While I always wish to congratulate people on making positive changes in their life (be it with their health, relationships, exercise, etc.), I want to continue to encourage these changes to become a lifestyle change and not just a passing fling.

Making changes towards bettering your life and well-being can come in many forms. Cutting out bad habits and introducing good ones needs to be more than a fad, it needs to be a step toward a more wholesome and happier lifestyle.

I know, it’s hard. I get it. Trust me, you aren’t telling me anything I don’t already know. It also can feel intimidating. Do those feelings sound familiar?

I like to take it one step at a time. Break it down. Start in small increments. I ultimately have long-term goals, but focusing solely on those feels scary and like I am setting myself up for failure. So, although I have them, I also make short-term goals as stepping stones. Focus on laying each brick solidly before you become overwhelmed with building the whole house.

Setting small steps to break or form a habit can include anything that improves your well-being.

Pick a habit & make it or break it.

Small steps…remember that. So this is what I tell myself with each goal or habit I set for myself:

“One day, girl, just one. You got this! Just make it one day. If you can do it for one day, you can do it for three. Three days?! Might as well make it a week, you’re nearly halfway there. One week down! You go girl! Good for you! Now, make it to three weeks and you’re golden.”

It takes 3 weeks, just a mere 21 days, to form a habit. That’s it. Use those three weeks to form a positive one by ridding yourself of a negative choice. Got it?! Now, make it to 90 days and you’re turning it into a lifestyle!

When you are making great changes, you want to keep them. Not drop them the first time it becomes difficult. Want to take it one step further towards holding yourself accountable? Write it down! Want to go even further than that? Tell someone about it.

Studies show that up to 42% of people were more likely to keep working towards their goals if they wrote it down. That jumped to a whopping 78% when they told someone about it.

“And it all began with one small win.”

So, pick your unhealthy habit to break and a beneficial one to start. Turn these good choices into a lifestyle. Not just a trendy fad or a passing fling.

Big hugs,

-Shawna

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