Honing In on Healthy Habits

Whether it’s fingernail biting, falling asleep at 3 am, or indulging in too much Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey, we’ve all had our fair so much power to enhance our lives on a daily basis. That is why it is so useful to understand how to make them a part of your routine. Here are 5 basic steps to follow in order to form—and keep—a healthy habit:

  1. Evaluate: What goal would like to achieve? What would you like to adjust?

  2. Decide: Choose a simple action that you can do on a daily basis which will get you towards your goal.

  3. Plan: When and where will you do your chosen action?

  4. Act: Every time you encounter that time and place, do that action!

  5. Repeat: Consistency is key! Your habit will get easier with time. Soon, you should find that you are doing it automatically without even thinking about it. 

Congratulations, you’ve just formed a healthy habit! It’s as easy as that. Just remember, forming habits takes persistence. Although after they are part of your routine, they may feel seamless, working up to that point might not feel so easy. Habit formation comes with trial and error and everyone works at a different pace. If you break your stride, or have an occasional fluke, don’t give up! One study on habit formation in The British Journal of General Practice stated that “Missing the occasional opportunity to perform [a] behaviour did not seriously impair the habit formation process…” Habit formation is a marathon, not a sprint, and you are in the running for yourself and yourself only! We all make mistakes, and that will happen while forming habits but, if you have confidence in your ability to become your best self, you will be sure to stride straight through the finish line.

Maybe its exercising, drinking water, or adjusting your sleep—everyone has something they can work on. Start small, then gradually increase the changes you make to reach your goals. By the end of a couple of months, you should be acting on your new habit without even thinking about it and maybe even ready to add another to your repertoire.

Rachel Webb