In my last blog, I discussed strategies you can use to encourage sustainable healthy habit forming from identifying the habit right for you, scheduling, repetition and starting small.
I wanted to delve a little deeper into this and discuss creating an environment that will help these healthy habits flourish.
A new healthy habit will never become part of your life if you’re feeling depleted, overwhelmed, overstimulated and become consumed in busyness.
Let’s go through a few ways to support you on your journey….
Identify how you are currently feeling
Are you feeling ready to tackle a new healthy habit, coming from a calm place within and excited for the new challenge? Or are you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, overstimulated and regularly say to yourself I should be doing this yesterday and I’ve got to fit it in right now?
It’s important to check in with yourself before you embark on any change. If you’re feeling motivated and ready for the change then go for it, break the new healthy habit down and start small and gradual.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and feel life is taking over then you would benefit from scheduling some time out to rest, re-energise and restore. It really is true that when we slow down we can become so much more efficient, coming from a calm and focus space rather than a scattered overworked space with very little resilience and head space for change. The simplest task can seem so overwhelming when we are tired and stressed.
Is there any fun, play or joy in your life?
Many of us are guilty of this and I speak for myself on this – time for FUN????? Joy is time spent doing without purpose. You are not looking to achieve anything- you are doing it because it makes you feel good inside.
This is a great way to increase your happiness levels and you can bring it into your life without scheduling big blocks of time out of your day. The other day, I turned up the music as loud as it could go and danced around the kitchen for a couple of minutes before picking up the kids. I was smiling on the inside and went to pick up the kids with a different head space.
If you are creating change and forming habits in your life then working on your everyday happiness levels is a great way to create the supportive environment for these habits to stick around and mould into your life.
Another bonus is during the times of joy and switching off, we tend to be more creative and you may even find the solution to a problem you have pops into your head!
This links in with the previous point. If you invest in the time to nourish your soul and regularly make time into looking after yourself, you will increase your daily happiness and fulfilment – how could you not create a new habit when you’re feeling great inside!
The self-care doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It could be a hot bath once a week, sitting outside by yourself for 5 mins feeling the sun on your back, a walk in the fresh air or a little nap. For any mums, it could be hiding in a cupboard for a couple of mins away from the kids – yes I’ve done this a few times!!! The important thing is to just do it- there are always things to do and there never seems time to fit in self-care. But it’s the difference in functioning efficiently or functioning in a fuzzy, unfocused and scattered way. Where you spend your time being reactive to life rather than proactive.
Surround yourself with supportive people
This is such an important way to determine the success of your healthy habit. As a personal trainer, I have seen many women struggle as they may have family members that are not supportive of their change but also many clients that have inspired change in their family as they see the positive changes in them.
We are built for human interaction and support, without it, we wouldn’t have survived in the hunter - gatherer days. If you struggle to find the support at home, then find the support in friends or like-minded people. Many of my clients have come along because they are in need of that support and encouragement.
When you surround yourself with supportive people, you can also create an element of accountability. They can help remind you when you are having those harder days and give you that little nudge. You could also start the new healthy habit with another person and celebrate the wins and encourage through the challenges.
Be patient and manage your expectations
So how many of us have started on the journey and to have felt disheartened when we don’t feel the positive effects. I have seen this many times with women’s fitness, feeling demotivated because they have not lost weight or fixed an injury instantly. We can become very impatient in this fast pace world we now find ourselves.
The change comes in the practice and the change comes from you. Regular practice creates the big changes in life!
With habit forming and the struggles, the challenge doesn’t necessarily come from not being able to repeat the behaviour but from feeling depleted and overwhelmed. Take control of your journey by creating the nurturing environment for these healthy habits to blossom.