August is National Wellness Month, and while we strive to celebrate wellness and self-care all year round, this is the perfect time to highlight the importance of taking care of yourself. Healthy sometimes takes a backseat to summer fun, so now is a great time to reinvigorate your lifestyle habits! We’ve listed a few tips to creating habits you can stick with all year long.
- Make A Plan
It’s easy to believe we want to make changes, but if we do it without a plan in place, unfortunately we are likely to stumble. Making a plan ahead of time is one of the most important steps. For example, if healthy eating is a new habit you are trying to create, plan your meals ahead of time, and plan what to do when you’re out with friends and faced with unhealthy choices. This is key, because if you haven’t thought about it in advance, you are more likely to make a rash decision you will later regret.
- Identify Patterns
To identify negative patterns, you have to know what they are and what causes them. If it helps, write down your negative patterns and what new habits you will replace them with. Forming new habits takes repetition and focus so don’t be discouraged when it takes time.
- Take Small Steps
There is something to be said for small victories. Brains enjoy success, and celebrating small victories will help train your brain. Over time, these baby steps will help pave the way for changes in the way you think and act. Amazing how brains work, isn’t it?
- Find New Rewards
Reinforcing what you’re doing with rewards is still a great way to help encourage lasting changes. However, sometimes the rewards we use work against us (i.e., food, drinks, etc). Consider changing your reward! Instead of celebrating with a piece of cake, try listening to music or taking an extra break in your favorite spot on the deck.
Creating healthy habits requires patience and self-control. However, once you’ve created a new pattern to follow in your brain, you will wonder how you ever did things differently. The long-term results are worth it!