It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. But how do you get started and how can you make habit changes that stick? The experts say you need to focus your attention on what you want and start small. But that’s not always easy to do.
So, we put together the following 7-step process to make your new healthy choices a habit that you stick with.
Step 1) Plan
Habits are easily changed when you have a solid plan in place to follow. A plan of action is what makes dreams and desires turn into reality. Because they help you break down big-hairy-scary goals into smaller, actionable steps.
So, the plan is the first place to start any new habit. In fact, every other step that follows stems from your plan.
Here are a few questions to get your plan of action in place:
When will you start?
What goal are you working towards?
What do you need to get going?
What obstacles will you face and how can you overcome them?
Who will you reach out to for accountability?
What smaller steps do you need to take to achieve your healthy habit?
How will you reward yourself along the way?
For example, If one of your new healthy habits is to take curcumin every day to help naturally relieve your joint pain, give yourself the exact time of day you’ll take your curcumin. Where you’ll keep your curcumin, and when you’ll order your next bottle.
Step 2) Remove Obstacles
Now that you have your plan created, it’s time to upgrade your surroundings. When you upgrade the things around you and remove obstacles it helps your habits stick.
Your current habits formed over time, but there’s almost always a “trigger” that makes you do what you do. If you can discover that trigger you’re halfway to making lasting change.
For example, a “trigger” you may have is stress over what to wear for your workout every morning. So spend 10 minutes trying to decide what gym clothes you want, and before you know it, you’ve talked yourself out of the workout for the day.
Instead, you can lay out your workout gear before you go to bed. That way you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear for your workout in the morning. You just get dressed and hit the gym.
Or, if you want to add healthy supplementation to your morning routine, you can put your vitamins on a subscription. That way you don’t run out and break your healthy habit streak!
And if you’d like to get better sleep, your “trigger” may be watching TV while you’re in bed. Instead, grab a bottle of sleep complex and place it on your nightstand. Then, when you have the urge to watch TV, take a few pumps of the sleep complex instead.
Whatever your current trigger is, find a quick and simple way to make the obstacle disappear. Or at the very least, much HARDER to do your old habit and EASIER to stick to your new desired habit.
Step 3) Ask for Support
There are many ways to keep you on track as you create new habits. Asking for support from a friend is a great motivator to keep going.
According to research from the University of Pittsburgh, when weight loss participants recruited a friend for accountability, they had a 95% completion rate. Compared to only 76% completion rate for participants that didn’t have any outside support. (1)
You can also set up a system to help you be accountable for yourself.
You could pay your friend $20 for every day you miss a habit. Or, every time you skip your new habit, you have to wash ALL the dishes in your kitchen - including the clean ones.
Adding in a little pain to skipping your desired new habits can be a huge motivator for most to keep going.
Step 4) Track Your Progress
This is all about the momentum you’re creating. Grab your calendar and a big red sharpie. For every day you do your new habit, make a big red ‘X’ on the calendar for that day.
Hang the calendar where you’ll see it regularly. Next to the bathroom mirror is one of the most popular places for many people.
The visual representation of your habits helps to make streaks. And once you have a few days in a row completed, your mind compels you to keep the streak alive. This helps you to maintain your habit and stick with it.
Make sure to grab your free 21 day Manna Calendar Here! Just print it and mark off the days you take your vitamins. It's an easy reminder to help create a healthy habit.
Step 5) Imagine the future
All the planning and changes you want to make don’t mean much unless you have a clear vision of how the change looks for you in the future.
To be “healthy” has different meanings to different people. Get specific about what you want and how it looks and feels for YOU. Then, imagine yourself after you’ve already developed this new habit. How do you look? How do you feel? How do you act now that you have this new habit already in place?
The mind is a wonderful thing. You can do this exercise even though you don’t already have the new habit formed. Keep this “picture” of your future top of mind. It will help you stay motivated during those times when your newly formed habit becomes work.
Step 6) Reward Yourself
We live in a culture of instant gratification. So, if you wait until you’ve established your new habit to celebrate it can be hard to stick with it. However, you want to make sure your reward helps to further your habit, instead of set you back a bit.
For example, if you want to eat healthier, don’t reward yourself with a giant piece of cake if you go three days without any junk food. Instead, reward yourself with a massage at the end of the week. Or a long hot bath with special bath salts.
Or, if you want to get out and walk more, reward yourself with a new audible book to listen to while you walk.
Your rewards don’t have to be about spending money. They have to feel like rewards to you. Give yourself something special for meeting your metrics along the way.
Step 7) Be Patient
If you try to change too many things all at once you will most likely experience burnout and overwhelm.
Does this sound familiar?
I’m going to take my vitamins on time every day AND
I’m going to eat 100% Paleo AND
I’m going to run 7 miles a day AND
I’m going to work out in the gym 6 days a week AND…
It won’t take you too long before you start to slip on one (or all) of your healthy habits.
True change happens over time. And you may experience a setback or two. Don’t let that stop you. Focus on one habit first. Get that down. Then move to the next one.
BONUS Step: Never miss two in a row.
Along with being patient for the change, if you miss a day don’t throw your habit out the window.
Take a reset and get back in the pattern of your habit. One missed workout isn’t the end of your new habit-forming. However, TWO missed workouts become a new pattern. And a new pattern is the start of a new habit. Because oftentimes those two missed days become 30 missed days very quickly.
Small, simple changes over time add up. Before long you’ll look at your life and wonder how you got from where you were to where you are now. It will feel like a dream, but you’ll be glad you did the work in stages.
And if you want to start a new habit (or keep your current habit going) with quality vitamins, check out our powerful liposomal vitamins. You can even make your new habit easy with subscriptions of your favorites!