How To Build Your Own Habits & Stick To Them
Updated: Jan 30
Welcome to the last lap of the decade! But really, it's the end of a DECADE and I think we should celebrate all the hard work we put in! However, I don't mean coast for the remaining two months of the year.
I have decided to go out with a bang this year, and I'm calling it our LAST LAP. Yes, I am trying to fight off the seasonal vibes of "chill and relax until the new year" too. PLUS, have you ever ran a 5k, 10k, marathon, or any kind of race (even Mario Kart counts here)?
The last lap of the race is usually when we are most focused, driven, and determined to complete the race on a high note, whether that's first place or just better than you did last time you competed.
We have two months left in 2019. Instead of letting them slip by, why not get ahead of the game and tackle some unfinished business? Why not end the last year of this decade on a high note?
I just finished a 100 workout program. I made it my goal to complete 100 workouts in 100 days, which was almost too-scary-to-try, but I really wanted to change my mindset about working out.
I had this vision of a future me, who worked out daily to keep a healthy and happy LIFESTYLE. I wanted the rewards and benefits of fitness to be a life long choice, so I knew that I needed to build that habit.
The question became: how am I going to create the lifestyle I want for my future NOW?
I had heard countless times from a multitude of people (through interviews, podcasts, and books) that the best way to create a workout habit is to have a consistent time in the day dedicated to working out.
Some people choose mornings, some are active at lunch, and others choose evening.
Throughout my health journey, I've discovered that if I don't do my workout before noon, I won't be doing it at all. I am my most productive in the morning and by the time dinner rolls around (omg did anyone else think about actual dinner rolls reading that or just me??), I am way too worn out to even THINK about pushing play on my workout, let alone change into fitness clothes (no matter how cute I think they are).
I wanted to create such a strong habit that even the holidays couldn't screw me over and win the head game.
If you're like me and have the desire to end this decade on a high note, follow these steps to building habits you want to stick with in 2020.
1. Start with a goal, or a dream version of yourself.
What do you want to accomplish?
Are you trying to live a healthier lifestyle?
Are you trying to commit to a workout program? A new eating plan?
Do you want to take that side hustle to a full time income earning business?
This method works for anything, so pick a route and go all out on it.
My example: Before I started the 100 workouts, I had this vision of a future me finishing the 100th workout. I envisioned how accomplished I would feel. I thought about all of the work going into each and every workout to get to workout #100, and all of the progress my body would show after completing the program. My goal was to complete all 100 workouts in 100 days.
2. Identify the habit(s) needed to reach your goal.
When you think about your future accomplished self, what is the thing you had to do over and over to get there? This is the habit you need to create in your daily life NOW in order to make that future a reality.
My example: For me, I had to push play on my virtual trainer and follow the workouts each day. In order to do that, as explained earlier, I needed to create a habit of waking up and working out immediately after. I had to create a pair of habits that worked together to get to my goal.
3. Create a daily action plan that tracks the habit(s) you're creating.
Take a look at where you have free time or where you need to MAKE time to prioritize the habit. Get out paper and pen, or work it out on your computer. Do whatever you need to do to figure out how you will make this habit a priority every day.
Create an action plan for yourself with consequences (for not following through) and rewards (for sticking to your plan) that you feel satisfied with.
My example: I needed to create a morning routine of waking up and working out. I didn't necessarily have a morning routine before - I just woke up and went on with whatever I needed to do that day. So I stepped it up, and wrote out exactly what I would do from the time my alarm goes off to finishing my workout.
Here's the layout (and probably more info you need to know about me but whatev):
5:55am Watch alarm goes off and I get out of bed. I add a spoonful of extra virgin coconut oil into my mouth to oil pull while I change into my workout clothes, put my hair up, and get into my shoes.
6:00am I take a shameless selfie and post it on my stories to hold myself accountable publicly and document my journey. Then, I feed my cat, spit out the oil, take half a shot of my preworkout energy supplement, and drink 32 oz of water.
6:15am I turn my girl gang accountability call on and push play on my workout in my living room.
When I have finished my workout, I reward myself with recovery and superfood supplements to help my muscles recover and jumpstart my day with fueling my body right.
Now, I know you're going to ask me: "how long should I do this for?"
In turn, I'll ask you: "has that dream version of you stopped?"
Habits are changes we make to our daily behaviors to create a better version of life for ourselves. It starts with a DESIRE to want to change. Making change takes time, especially if it's something you're wanting to be a natural at for the rest of your life.
We have to stop saying things like "it takes 21 days to create a habit" because the reality is that a habit is something you commit to doing daily until you decide to change that behavior into some new better version of you.
The way you BUILD HABITS is through the same 3 step process. Sometimes, it works out where you can double up and build two habits at once, like waking up and working out. Generally speaking though, you want to start making change to one habit until you feel comfortable with the change.
Trying to change multiple habits at once can be overwhelming. Stick to working them into your daily actions one at a time.
Soon enough, you'll be LIVING that dream version of yourself.
And that dream version of you will begin to dream new dream versions of yourself to grow into. #inceptiontalk
What habit are you going to work on building into your daily life?