Building A New Healthy Habit
January 31, 2017
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
Building a New Healthy Habit
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
What is a habit? A habit is any activity that a person does deliberately at first, and then after repetition, continues to do without focus. To successfully make a healthy lifestyle change.
Macro Goals and Micro Quotas. To successfully make a healthy lifestyle change, you have to balance your macro goals (big picture items you wish to accomplish) with the daily habits, or micro quotas, necessary to achieve them.
Example of a long-term, macro goal:
Lose 10 pounds in 6 months.
Choosing one tiny habit, or micro quota, and setting a low threshold for starting can make the task seem more accessible and actually increase the likelihood of success!
Example of a tiny habit or micro quota:
Exercise 30 minutes twice a week
Find a Spot in Your Routine
For something to become a habit, there needs to be a regular trigger that tells you to perform this behavior.
“Exercise 30 minutes per week” is not a habit, because there is no regularly occurring trigger to make it a routine behavior.
Instead, identify when and where you will take a specific action to reach your goal:
“Do a 30 minute yoga video at home after taking the kids to practice on Monday and Thursday evenings.”
The specific spot in your routine (taking the kids to practice) acts as a trigger for your new habit. Perform your routine on this cycle as often as you can!
If-Then Planning for Obstacles
Running into obstacles is a normal part of the process of developing a new healthy habit!
To develop your If-Then plan to overcome obstacles, first identify the obstacle or trigger you would like to control. Then, create your If-Then plan to help you stick to your healthy habit.
Example of a trigger: Pressure of household chores
Example of a plan: “If I have household chores to finish, then I will ask my son to help me after my yoga video.”
If-Then planning helps you stick to your plan without wasting time deciding what you should do next!