Maintaining Good Habits!

By Myra Oney, CHHC, Certified Brain Longevity Specialist

Keep Good Habits Going

In Creating a Good Habit, we talked about how you can develop good habits, and some of the inherent challenges. We highlighted the importance of focusing first on why we want to make these changes and recognizing that we are actually creating a new vision for ourselves in the process. Now let’s talk about keeping those good habits you’ve created.

Getting started
Let’s think about a swimming pool. How do most people get in the water? Even experienced swimmers do it little by little, as we get used to the water temperature. Creating new habits is similar – we do it bit by bit. Habits are actions that we repeat over and over until they become part of who we are. Keeping a good habit going takes work, a positive mind set, a strategy and persistence.

Make your new habit repeatable, achievable, and rewarding

Let’s say you want to establish the habit of going to the gym.

Repeatable: Create a schedule you can stick to, such as “Every Tuesday at 9:00am I go to the gym for an hour and do strength training.” Put it on your calendar, and perhaps invite a friend to join you.
Achievable (Reduce obstacles to success): Lay out your gym clothes the night before. Have your water bottle filled and your gym bag packed and next to the door.
Rewarding: Plan a reward for doing your workout – a massage for example – so your brain gets the positive message.

As another example, let’s say you want to establish a better sleep schedule.

Repeatable: Create a realistic and consistent sleep schedule. If you hope to be up by 8:00 but you’re falling asleep at 2am or later more often than not, try telling yourself “Lights out at midnight.”
Achievable: Treat your bedtime as a process, so start winding down by 11:00pm. Put your phone away, turn off the TV and computer. Use the hour for a relaxing activity that won’t overstimulate the brain – reading, meditating, knitting.
Rewarding: Get together with friends and enjoy catching up over breakfast. Go to your grandchild’s soccer game. Engage with the people who matter to you.

When you’ve fallen off and want to get back on
There are numerous reasons why you might fall away from a new habit. It’s not unusual for it to take several tries to get a new habit to stick, especially if it’s entirely new to you or something you’ve resisted in the past. Self-awareness, understanding why you got off track and evaluating what changes you could make to be more successful are all helpful. Sometimes getting a different perspective, support and accountability from a friend, family member or coach is your ticket back. But by making your new habits repeatable, achievable and rewarding, you have a good chance of keeping those good habits going!

Keep your good habits going by joining one of our upcoming Foundational Coaching programs.

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