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The Best Way to Make New Habits Stick Is…

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…to incorporate them when your entire schedule and life is changing!

Well, I think any time is a good time to put new habits in place. But, new habits are much easier to incorporate when your schedule is changing anyway. Because if you put these new habits into place immediately, they’re easier to stick with than if you try to wedge them into an established schedule later.

 

make new habits stick

 

I knew that leaving my corporate job for self-employment was the perfect time to create some new habits, since they would automatically become part of my new schedule. And I knew I didn’t want to waste this perfect opportunity!

I showed you my morning schedule, but truthfully I wasn’t being as consistent as I would like with all of them while still in corporate. But now I am!

The secret to incorporating a new habit into your day is setting aside dedicated, uncompromised time for each activity, otherwise there will never be space for them.

So, before I left corporate, I wrote out a new schedule for myself. I sketched in work time, lunch breaks, naptimes, babysitting times, and time for some new habits.

 

I decided I needed to dedicate time for:

  1. Spirituality: God is the center of my life, but I wasn’t really being true to that. So, I decided to make dedicated time every morning for devotions and prayer. I typically read the daily devotion from Proverbs 31 ministries. Sometimes I journal on the message. Sometimes I meditate on the message. But whatever the message is, I try to bring it with me throughout the day.
  2. Journaling: I wrote about this practice extensively in my journaling post. (You gotta check it out!) I’ve learned that journaling is THE secret to moving myself and my business forward. Reaffirming my goals and objectives every single day seems to bring them into focus much easier. Also, I just get really excited about journaling, so it’s really easy to get out of bed in the morning. If my mood turns sour, I know a better mood is just a journal entry away. And no, I’m not talking about “dear diary” baloney either. If you read the post, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
  3. Tithing: From the very moment I opened up a new Google Sheet to track my income and expenses, that I wanted to make room for tithing. That way, it was already taken care of and I didn’t have to think about it again. So, that’s what I did. I made columns on my spreadsheet for taxes and tithing. I take those percentages out automatically.
  4. Lunch break celebration: Every day, I whip open my office door, blast Rebel Beat by the Goo Goo Dolls (my new theme song), and dance with my daughter at lunch. It’s a signal for my 2-year-old daughter that it’s lunch time, but it’s also a fun daily tradition that makes lunchtime a little more special for us. I can’t wait until summer break so my son can celebrate lunch every day with us too!
  5. Move once an hour: my Fitbit is changing my life. I don’t say that to be trite. It really stinkin’ is! One of the ways it’s helping me with my health habits is with its hourly vibration to get up and get moving. It literally vibrates when you’ve been sitting for an hour. That’s an excellent trigger for me to get up and get moving once an hour, like I’ve always intended to do, even in corporate. So, on cardio days, I’ll typically get up and jump rope for a minute every hour. On leg day, I might get up and do some jump squats. On arm day, I might do 10 pushups. You get the picture. It helps re-energize my body, warm me up (it’s still chilly in WI), get my blood moving, and burn a few extra calories. I might start posting my daily moves on Instagram, if you’d like to follow along.
  6. Sit on my exercise ball: I don’t often sit on my exercise ball, but when I do…I practice much better posture. So, in corporate, we weren’t allowed to sit on exercise balls because it was considered a safety hazard. But, as part of the corporate wellness team, we were always looking for ways like that to change people’s sitting habits. Well now, in my home office, I can do what I wanna. And I like being able to sit on my exercise ball. I have a platform for my laptop that puts it at just the right height too. Me likey.
  7. Flexibilty goalz: So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing down a few flexibility goals. The kind I haven’t followed through on. Until now. So, one of my goals is to be able to clasp my hands behind my back, one over the shoulder and the other behind my lower back. The other goal is crow pose. So now, once a day, when I get up for my hourly moves, I practice those two moves. I hold my jumprope to stretch my arms behind my back. I can’t wait until I can announce that I’ve nailed it!

man stretching shoulders

I totally fail this shoulder mobility test!

Image result for crow pose

Source

 

Make your habits stick by making them meaningful

To make new habits stick, they should also hold personal meaning. These goals are actually very important to me, otherwise I wouldn’t make room for them in my schedule. It’s important to have a strong enough “why” behind these habits to actually put them into practice. If you want to put new habits into place too, you need to make sure they’re not just “would be nice” goals. They should be “change my life” goals. They need to have personal meaning, otherwise they’re not worth it.

These are just a few more examples of how we can make an effort to be:

~Better Every Day

 

How about you…

Have you ever been successful putting new habits into place? What is your best piece of advice?

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