Let's take a wild guess: you want to eat healthier and work out more. Most people do, and those are great goals to have, but they are also the most challenging areas of habit change.
While that may sound like bad news, don't stress! You can change your habits, but in order to do so, it's crucial that you know yourself, so that you can make changes that will stick. Some people thrive on strict rules while others need flexibility.
Here are 3 ways that may work for you:
1) Piggyback them onto habits you already have.
– What do you already do multiple times per day? Go to the bathroom? Check your Social Media? Make a rule that every time you do either, you'll also do 10 squats. Before you know it, you'll have done 150+ squats a day. If you want to drink more water, chug a glass before every meal. Before you know it, you'll be doing these things, every day, without even thinking about it. And that, my friends, means you've developed a new habit.
2) Be consistent.
– Habits are built by doing the same thing over and over, whether you feel like it or not. If you wait till you're excited to hop out of bed and go to the gym, it's never going to happen. The trick is to do it anyway to retrain your brain to crave it. We crave consistency, so make it consistent and soon it'll be second nature.
3) Don't get down on yourself.
– Keep a positive attitude about the journey, even if you "mess up" and you'll be more likely to stick to your habits. Your internal dialogue is the most powerful tool you have. If you get down on yourself with a bunch of shoulda/woulda/couldas, all you'll feel is failure, and failure isn't motivating. Simply learn from your slip-ups and develop a positive plan for what you can do next time. Cut yourself a break and keep going – you're doing the best you can.