March 28, 2013

Achieve Any Healthy Habit Easily

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to pick up a bad habit, but when you have a goal to set a good habit, it seems to be an […]

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to pick up a bad habit, but when you have a goal to set a good habit, it seems to be an uphill battle?

Maybe you’ve been working on eating better, working out regularly, or even just trying to wake up earlier. And sometimes you are super determined, you stick to the plan, and next thing you know, the first week is over and you’re right on track.

The trouble with making something a habit is it has to become second nature. As in, you get to the point where you don’t even think twice about it. And until you’ve reached that point, it is so easy to get discouraged and give up.

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how it takes 21 days to form a habit. I think you and I both know that is so beyond false! If you have been carrying around a bad eating habit for nearly your whole life time, how realistic is it to expect that to change in 21 days?

Some habits may take a shorter or longer time to pick up, but I’m going to tell you right now – don’t expect it to happen overnight. Don’t expect it to happen in a month. In fact, new studies show it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit.

That number may seem scary to you. “Dani, I can barely get myself to work out 2 days in a row – let alone 66 days!” Remember, it all starts with a decision. When you make a solid decision and follow it with action, you will succeed.

That being said, here are a couple practical tips that will help you take continuous action towards forming good, healthy habits:

  1. Start slow! For example, if you want to start working out, start by doing it a couple minutes a day and work your way up to longer and more intense workouts. If the goal is to wake up an hour earlier – that first day, just wake up 5 minutes early. Then move the time back in 5 minute increments until you reach your goal. If you want to eat better, start small. Focus on making small changes instead of changing everything all at once.
  2. Working up to your goal will make it easier on you, and make your goal more attainable. It is just like when you make smaller appointments to achieve business or financial goals. Break whatever good habit you want to achieve into smaller pieces so you can gain a little at a time.

  3. Don’t get discouraged. Messing up one day is NOT a setback. I see this all the time. People start eating healthy, and after a week they miss a day. And then they miss two days. After that they just give up. There is no such thing as back tracking in good habit forming!
  4. One really good way to not get discouraged is to celebrate your success. If you have worked up to exercising 15 minutes a day or waking up 10 minutes earlier – pat yourself on the back! Even if you messed up one day out of the whole week, it doesn’t discount all the progress you made. You are still better off then you were the week before.

I sincerely hope you use these tips in your life and also use it to help encourage others. If you know of someone who has been trying to develop some good habits in life, celebrate their small milestones with them! Pass this Daily Fix on to them just to let them know what a great job they are doing!

I would love to hear your thoughts about this one, and what good habits you’d like to pick up now that you KNOW you can. Our community is always here to support YOU and celebrate YOUR success.

Have a fantastic Thursday!

 

In great faith,

 

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First Steps to Success
First Steps to Success

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  1. Dorothy Cruise March 28, 2013
    reply

    Dani, thanks for the encouragement – it is so timely since I messed up big time yesterday by being self-centered instead of others-centered. My goal is to become habitually others-centered. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  2. Leslie HAnson March 28, 2013
    reply

    Wow, you are so right Dani, it does seem to take a lot longer. I do fall off the wagon and the bad results spur me to get going again, like when I skip making green smoothies and a rash came back on my legs that had left and my hair changes back from longer, thicker, curlier and way less gray! Just little steps at a time and now making the smoothies is a way of life after 7 years!. But you are so right, when I look back over my life so many many great additions have become permanent. Thanks for encouraging us to look at this positive instead of our natural negative attitudes and thinking “Once again, I am just a loser!” So, so , so unproductive. Now I love looking for and celebrating the sprouts all around me! I am so amazed at all the wonderful and helpful things I am learning, every day even at the age of 61 and grateful God has sent them. Once I complained to him as to why didn’t He send this into my life sooner and guess what He said! “You wouldn’t have listened then!” So now I am just thankful for the improvements when they arrive! You are such a blessing….thank you!

  3. Sarah Shepherd March 28, 2013
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    Dani! This is a huge encouragement for me! I have always heard the 21 day rule and it was so discouraging to see the time limit have to start all over again every time I made a mistake! It was so empowering when you said that the is no such thing as backtracking when you are forming a good habit! Thank you!!!!