I recently talked about habit stacking as a way to help add new habits into your current routine. Another way I like to add new habits is to do it slowly, one at a time so it isn’t overwhelming. Let’s take a look at five habits I created in my first year of focusing on my health and the timeline for when I added them in.
Set Out Tomorrow’s Clothes
My workout is one of the first things I do each day. To set myself up for success, I like to choose my workout clothes out the night prior so I can jump straight into them and eliminate the task of tracking them down in the morning. It seems like such a small thing to get the clothes out of their drawers, but I found that having them ready to go made me far less likely to skip the workout.
I added this one during MONTH 2 of my journey!
Grounding Exercises First Thing
Once MONTH 3 hit, I firmly had getting prepared the night before built into my routine. For this new month, I adjusted my morning routine to incorporate grounding and intention setting. With my fresh set of workout clothes on – minus shoes – I take myself outside. Rain or shine, hot or cold, I set my feet in the grass and spend some time doing breathwork. Once I feel grounded, and in the moment, I set intentions for the rest of the day. This helps me stay on track when my morning routine is over, and it is time to jump into the work day.
Ensure Whole Foods are Incorporated into Every Meal
During MONTH 4, I started building my meals with whole foods. I didn’t ignore my hunger cures or focus on eliminating items. Instead of restricting, I was focusing on addition. By starting each meal with a base of whole foods, I naturally started eating less processed food and was able to avoid feeling like I was being extremely restrictive. Even further down the line, I started to crave those whole foods instead of processed items!
Hydration Hydration Hydration
MONTHS 5-6 I put the focus on hydration. I made sure water was the first thing I had to drink in the morning before my coffee, found a water bottle that I loved, and made sure to fill it up at the start of each day. Another way to ensure I always had a water bottle with me, I got a few backups to put in my gym bag and my car. This helped ensure I could have one to fill up no matter where I was.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
After 6 months of slowly adding in the four habits mentioned above, I found that I was feeling less and less overwhelmed. Because I was less and less overwhelmed, I found myself doing more things that made me happy. For MONTHS 7-8, I slowly walked back the amount of alcohol I was drinking. Because I was feeling increasingly happy, the desire to drink was not an overbearing one. But, the habit was there. I took these two months to reduce the number of drinks I had each week until I got to the point where I was rarely indulging. When I did drink, I wasn’t overindulging.
Adding one habit at a time is an AMAZING way to ensure you aren’t overwhelming yourself with change. It also allows you to truly dedicate your focus to that one change and do it well. As you can see, some habits take longer to nail down than others; that is 100 percent normal! By taking it slow and one at a time, it will hardly feel like a change. One year later, you can have so many amazing healthy habits that are just normal aspects of your day.
Happy Habit Building!