Forming new habits

08-Jan-2018

It’s the new year, and you’re already struggling to keep up some of your resolutions. You started off with the best intentions; forming new habits, but now it’s hard to break the old ones! To help, we’ve compiled some advice below.

 

Be specific

This year you want to eat more healthily. It sounds great, but it isn’t very specific. If something isn’t well-defined, it will be difficult to achieve. Think instead about how you can eat healthier food. For example, you can include vegetables with your dinner three times a week. Or you can make sure to buy fruit each time you shop at the supermarket.

 

Be realistic

You want to start a new habit where you go to the gym four times a week, but right now you don’t go to the gym at all. We are more likely to fail when we have unrealistic expectations about how easy it will be to make the change. In this case, it is better to start off with going once a week and then building it up over time. If you want to save money, you can start off small, like buying less coffee during the week.

 

Forming new habits? Take one thing at a time

You want to exercise more, save money, read more books, watch less TV, and quit smoking. That is a lot to achieve all in one go. Instead, focus on one, and when that becomes a new habit, you move on to the next goal.

 

Ask for support when forming new habits

Ask your friends and family for support. It is hard to break an old bad habit and start a new one if you are doing it by yourself. If you want to eat healthy meals, see if you can encourage your partner to join you. If you want to cut back on alcohol, go to a museum with a friend instead of heading to the bar where the temptation may be too high.

 

Reward

You can reward yourself as you go along to reinforce your new habit. Rewards can be small, and they don’t need to be expensive, but it should be something you don’t usually do.

The longer you stick with your new habit, the more likely it will become natural, and you won’t even have to think about it.

 

If you need someone to talk to, reach out to one of our counsellors: Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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