Thursday, July 28, 2016

11 Science-backed Ways to Build Permanent Habits

Do you ever stop and think about why we do the things we do? It seems that most of us have routines that we follow simply to keep us on track and moving. Moving to get to work, moving to get the kids to school, moving to get the house cleaned or cook a meal -- these habits have become so ingrained in us that we really don't stop and think about them.
But what if we wanted to change something about the way we complete a task or not do something that will lead us down a rabbit hole that we don't really want to go down at all! It doesn't necessarily have to be a food item that throws us off track so much as how we got to that temptation in the first place. If we typically run out of time at the end of the day to make dinner for instance and this is something that happens frequently, how can we change that from happening? 
Regardless, after a long day most of us are tired from not only work, but other things that need to get done as well. How about prepping meals ahead of time? Having a variety of fruits and vegetables at hand when we get home? Instead of heading to the cookie jar, why not grab an apple instead?
1) Let people in on what you are up to and be accountable. Yes, there is an app for that!
2) Start using an app that keeps you on track with your tasks, intentions, goals...Track your goals with the Strides app.
3) See yourself already doing a habit -- visualization is important.
4) If you've got a "lofty goal" like losing 20 pounds by the time the holidays roll around, break it down into manageable small habits. 
5) Be consistent and track what you do. If it's more fruits and veggies to add to your diet, track the different varieties you add to your daily diet.
6) Incentivize yourself! If you want to plan on running 3 x's a week, treat yourself to a massage or a movie after the first month of completing your goal.
7) Have an affirmation that you practice daily. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you can and you will!
8) Write down the progress you've made. It's like someone saying that they can quit smoking or drinking on their own? What is to say that a difficult time in that person's life won't throw them off track! 
9) Try to get rid of negative habits/triggers. If you know that someone brings donuts to work on Fridays and you just can't resist, try brushing your teeth first. Brushing your teeth is a good preventative measure.
10) Make a bet with someone that will keep you honest. If you want to form a good habit, let someone know and make a bet on keeping your goal, otherwise prepare to lose a few bucks! It has been said that it takes 21 days to make a habit stick, so why not place a wager on that by using the 21 day habit app.
11) Avoid emotional triggers. If something or someone sets you off your course, take a deep breath and remember your much-anticipated new healthy habit with an affirmation.

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