Since we’re a month out from a lot of people attempting lifestyle changes with the new year rolling through, let’s discuss forming healthy habits that can transform your life. Whether you’re aiming for a more active lifestyle, a nourishing diet, or improved mental well-being, stacking habits is the key to long-term success.
How do you stack habits?
1. Start Small:
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything at once. Instead, focus on introducing one small, sustainable change into your routine. This could be as simple as adding a serving of vegetables to your meals, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or practicing mindfulness for a few minutes each day. Gradual changes have a higher likelihood of sticking.
2. Create a Routine:
Consistency is key when forming habits. Establish a routine that includes your new healthy behavior at a specific time each day, every day. Whether it’s a morning workout, an afternoon snack packed with nutrients, or an evening meditation session, having a set schedule makes it easier for your brain to adapt and automate the behavior.
3. Track Your Progress:
Documenting your progress is a powerful motivator. Keep a journal, use a habit-tracking app, or create a visual representation of your achievements. Celebrate milestones, no matter how small, and reflect on the positive changes you’ve experienced. This reflection reinforces the importance of your efforts and fuels your commitment.
A stupid, real life example is that when Dr. Vinny wanted to start regularly flossing his teeth, it wasn’t as simple as… to just start flossing. Building the habit started by flossing one new tooth each day. On day one, only one tooth was flossed. On day two, it was bumped up to flossing two teeth. On day three, three teeth… yadda yadda yadda… now all teeth get flossed every single day, regularly because it eventually became something incorporated into the routine.
With this small example, all three of the above mentioned steps were included. Flossing your teeth isn’t a big goal, but it’s actually one of the best things you could do for cardiovascular health. The new habit (flossing) was stacked on top of an already existent routine which was brushing teeth in the morning. Lastly, progress was tracked because Dr. Vin has 28 teeth. A tooth a day led to 28 days of incorporating a new habit before it became a part of the routine.
By setting clear goals, starting small, establishing routines, and tracking progress, you can create lasting positive changes. Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about consistency. Consistency eventually leads to progress, even if it takes awhile to get there. Embrace the process.
Let us know if you’ve added any new habits into your routine this year. We’d love to help cheer you on and help keep you accountable.