Melissa’s Rap: Are you ready to start creating healthy habits? Now that you have had a chance to brainstorm what is important to you and work through some important questions, it is time to start formulating a plan. Today we will review some thorough steps on how to create a healthy habit. Read through the steps and then print out the accompanying documents to start planning your own healthy habits. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Brainstorm
First things first! You need to determine what your goals are. Utilize the list you developed a few days ago to give you some ideas. Next, print out this document where you can write out your goals and then dig a little deeper to see what healthy habits you can incorporate to help you achieve that goal. Take your time with this, especially if you are not used to setting goals. Write out your thoughts and then come back to it again and again over the next couple of days, until you feel like you have a good list to start with.
Take the time to think about what you want to work on. Consider what types of habits you would like to create and foster, and perhaps those negative habits you would like to change for the better. There is room to write 1-3 habits per goal. Keep a notepad with you, and as something inspires you, write it down. Then, narrow the items down to 1-2 healthy habits to start with.
Step 2: Make a Plan
Once you have the list of healthy habits you plan to work on, print out this planning document for each habit you wish to tackle (or give each habit its own page of your notebook.) Then, write the following items underneath each one:
- My Healthy Habit: Briefly write your habit. I like to pick one word to represent it, and then a short description.
- Vision: Write a couple of sentences about what your life will look like when this particular habit is in effect.
- Steps: Next, write out the steps that you will need to take to get this habit operational. Think of these as mini-goals to get you to the ultimate goal of this healthy habit.
- Timeline: Next, go back to your steps and make a note beside each one listing when you would like to achieve them by. Be realistic.
- Support: Make a list of the support you will need to make this habit a reality. Examples include a friend who will listen and cheer you on, and a babysitter to watch your children while you take a class.
- Tools: What tools will you need to achieve your goals? If you are getting organized, you may need a new calendar, or a new app for your smart phone. If your goal is to eat healthier, you may need to pick up a healthy cookbook, or find a recipe website that has healthy choices. Make a list.
- Obstacles: We don’t want to focus on the negative, but if there are obstacles, we need to know what they are and how to tackle them. Write them here.
- Accountability: If you are like me, it helps to be held accountable for your goals. Is there someone who could become your accountability partner for this healthy habit? If not, what would help you hold yourself accountable? Write that here. (Note: This person could also be your support person, if you want.)
Step 3: Research
Now that you have a plan, it is time to do some research. If your goal is to get fit, perhaps you would like to research local gyms, or walking clubs. If your goal is to read more, you could research book clubs in your area, or look up books you would like to read.
Step 4: Learn
Locate books (or movies) in stores, online or from your library that relate to the habit you plan to develop. Too busy? Just set aside 10 minutes a day to read. Every little bit helps, and learning more could inspire you to stay on track.
We also recommend checking out the book on habits by Gretchen Rubin entitled Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life (affiliate link). It is an in-depth, comprehensive look at habits and ways we can be more successful at creating and maintaining them. She also created a great habits journal entitled Better Than Before: A Day-by-Day Journal (affiliate link) if you would like to dig a little deeper into this topic and have a tool to track your progress day-by-day.
Step 5: Act
You have a plan. You have done your research. You are learning more about the topic of your habit. Now, you need to ACT! Do the new habit consistently for at least 30 days. Take it slow, or jump right in. Either way, know that it may take more than one attempt. Don’t beat yourself up if your habit doesn’t form without setbacks. Stay consistent, and if you slip, just pick yourself back up and move forward, starting again at Day 1. Never give up!
Step 6: Review
It is important to plan in time to review your progress. Don’t judge, just analyze and use the information to propel you forward!
At first glance, this may seem like a lot of work. But, these steps will help set you up for success. You may even find yourself enjoying the process. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Just begin.
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand,
and work with whatever tools you have at your command, and
better tools will be found as you go along.” –Napoleon Hill
We can’t wait to hear all about your healthy habits! Feel free to contact us through our blog or social media if you have questions or to share your story. What healthy habits are you working on this month?