The Keys to Making Lifestyle Changes That Last
When one year is coming to an end and we’re starting to think about our goals for the year ahead, most people will think about lifestyle changes they want to make like working out, eating healthy, or finding ways to manage stress. It doesn’t take a new year to start making lifestyle changes, but if you’re contemplating them now, try looking at them as evolutions, not resolutions!
Lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. In fact, changing too much at once can make it harder to succeed in forming new habits. To help you with your self-transformation, we’re taking a look at the keys to making lifestyle changes that last.
How Long Does It Take to Make a Lifestyle Change?
Before we jump into methods for making lifestyle changes that last, let’s talk about the process of forming them. How long does it take to make a lifestyle change? We are creatures of habit. In fact, up to 40% of our daily activities are made up of habits that we may not even be fully aware of! This is why changing your lifestyle and creating new habits takes more than just a day to take hold.
It’s been a long-held standard by experts that new habits can take an average of 66 days to form. Instead of looking at this length of time as daunting, though, try to see this 2-month evolutionary cycle for making lifestyle changes that last as an opportunity. It’s a chance to form your new self care rituals exactly as you’d like them to direct you towards your goals!
Methods for Making Lifestyle Changes That Last
Regardless of what kind of self care techniques you’re looking to start or improve this year, we’re proud of you. :hugging_face: The first step to making lifestyle changes that last is deciding to do it. It might sound simple, but self-motivation can be tough.
There are lots of great self care lifestyle changes you might be considering. Want to challenge yourself to read more? Start meditating at home? Create or increase a healthy lifestyle to meet your goals? No matter your destination, the key to making lifestyle changes that last is in the journey. Some effective techniques to consider are:
- Make sure they pass the SMART test
- Get an accountability buddy
- Practice habit anchoring
Make Sure Your Lifestyle Changes Pass the SMART Goals Test
Whether you’ve heard of the SMART goals test before or it’s totally new to you, it can be a useful tool for making lifestyle changes that last. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
The idea is that you start making lifestyle changes that last by creating small, specific goals you can implement into your daily life. These small changes can turn into life-long lifestyle shifts. For example, instead of saying you want to eat healthier, you might say you want to start adding one serving of fruit to your daily diet. To measure this goal, you can say you’ll monitor it by logging it into a daily food tracker like the MyFitnessPal app.
In order to form lifestyle changes that stick, your goals need to be achievable, too. If you’re just starting out being more active, don’t try running 5 miles a day from the beginning. Work your way up to that with more manageable goals you can achieve. This not only helps keep you from overdoing it and potentially injuring yourself, but it also gives you the mental boost from meeting your goals and growing on them. Breaking goals and lifestyle changes into smaller milestones is key to staying on track.
Keeping your goals realistic is about making lifestyle changes that last from goals that you’re most likely to achieve. You might have some lofty ambitions for being healthier, changing your life, or creating new habits. Try starting with the one you’re most likely to succeed doing in order to keep your momentum. Focusing on one goal or lifestyle change at a time also increases the likelihood it’ll become part of your daily self care rituals that last.
Finally, being time-based means choosing a specific start date for beginning your new habits plus check-in times to see your progress. Some goals, like fitness challenges, might also benefit from an end deadline, too. For example, if you’re looking to run more, signing up for a 5K run or mini-marathon can give you a goal to work towards with a specific date set.
Having an Accountability Buddy for Making Lifestyle Changes That Last
Part of making lifestyle changes that last is being held accountable. We don’t mean being reprimanded, but having an accountability partner there to challenge you and keep you motivated along the way. This can be a friend, family member, coworker, or anyone you can count on to keep you accountable and motivated along your journey.
(Your pup or cat don’t count, because they’re the ultimate couch party enabler.)
Using Anchor Habits to Make Lifestyle Shifts Stick
Another awesome method for making lifestyle changes that last is using anchor habits. Anchor habits are an existing behavior that you can attach to the new habit you’re forming. For example, if you want to try and boost your energy each morning to take on the day, you might start the new habit of adding CBD tincture to your morning coffee. Since your morning coffee is already a daily habit, adding CBD drink recipes for potential boosts in energy and clarity is made easier to integrate into your daily ritual.
Using anchor habits could also be a good method for finding healthy ways to cope with stress, too. During your daily shower or bath, take a few minutes to center your mind and let the stress of the day wash off. Since CBD and meditation make a popular pairing, consider adding a CBD bath bomb to your relaxing bath. You can turn your bathroom into your very own spa so you can ignore the world and chill out for an hour!
With so much of our day made up of already existing habits, it’s not hard to find anchor habits to attach lifestyle changes to. Think about your day—what you do and where you go—and see which ones would be perfect for making lifestyle changes that last.
It doesn’t take a new year to change your habits and improve your self care rituals. Making lifestyle changes that last is all about setting achievable goals and building on them. The first step is choosing to try, so give these methods a chance and see what works best for you. We’re proud of you!
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