I’m not one of new year’s resolutions, but this year I have spent some time thinking about my goals for the year. One of them is about healthy habits – the premise being that each month I’ll start something new and that by the end of the year I’ll be doing 12 lovely new things that will make me look/feel/be better. Cool.
What I really like about the habit idea is that it takes away the effort of decision. Take cleaning your teeth – most people don’t have to make up their mind to brush their teeth every morning, they just do it and it’s so ingrained in their routine that very little thought is required. Adopting some new habits that contribute to my health and wellbeing without me having to think much about it sounds like a no-brainer!
If you’re thinking about starting a new habit, then I’d really recommend Gretchen Rubin’s book “Better than Before”. In it, she explores how different personality types approach habit formation and how to formulate a strategy which is effective for you.
Research shows that it takes about 28 days to build a habit, so if I do something new every day for a month, then it should be pretty well ingrained after that, hopefully enough to keep it up for the rest of the year.
This basic principles are as follows:
- The habit can be done on a daily basis
- It will be about positive change (i.e. starting to do something rather than stopping doing something)
- It will be something I can do no matter where I am
- It will fall into one of the following categories
- Good nutrition
- Physical Health/Beauty
- Mental Heath
- Creating a nicer home environment