Perhaps you’ve heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. But studies show that it actually takes around 90 days to really establish and stick with any new habit. Think about it! That’s 4 new habits in a year! Think about how your life could look completely different with 4 new healthy habits in place a year from now!
And here’s something else – rather than focusing on breaking a bad habit, you need to focus on establishing a healthy new habit. For example, rather than saying, “I won’t eat potato chips for 90 days”, say “I drink a fresh, green smoothie every day for 90 days”. See the difference? One focuses on deprivation (and all it makes you think about is potato chips!), while the other focuses on nutrition and vibrant health through a delicious green smoothie.
Here are 3 things to consider when trying to establish a new, healthy habit:
1. Put it in writing
Studies show that people with written goals are 30 times more successful than those who have no goals and 3 times more successful than those who just think about their goals. Are you trying to get healthy and lose weight? Perhaps you want your new habit to be working out every day. The key is to get very specific so you know exactly what you need to do every day and then write it down. For example, you could write, “I exercise for at least 20 minutes 6 days a week doing a variety of workouts (i.e. walking, weights, stretching, strength training, etc) throughout the week to get to my desired weight of _________.” Do you see how specific that is? And it focuses on the positive! Whatever your desired new habit is, get very specific and put it in writing.
2. Understand Your ‘Why’
Next, make a list of reasons why this habit is important to you. This list will come in handy on days where you want to throw in the towel. As in the example above, if you want to make a habit of exercising, list the reasons why that is so important to you. It could be reasons such as:
- Increased Energy
- Weight Loss
- Better Sleep
- Balanced Blood Sugar
- To fit into your favorite pair of jeans
- To keep up with the grandkids
Read your list often, especially on days when you’re tired and don’t feel like practicing your habit. It will keep you motivated to keep going!
3. Reward Yourself
This is the fun part! Decide on a reward ahead of time, and after the 90 days are up, reward yourself! Maybe it’s a nice, long massage at your favorite spa. Or maybe it’s a mani/pedi or facial. Maybe it’s a new outfit in a smaller size! You could even print out a picture of your reward to keep you motivated throughout the 90 days. Not only will you get all the rewards that healthier habits can bring, as mentioned above, but sometimes it’s nice to create that little extra special reward!
Maybe you’d like to start forming healthier habits, but you don’t know where to begin. Here’s a list of ideas to help get you started:
- Eating healthy foods (more fruits, veggies, greens, etc)
- Getting up earlier
- Taking Supplements
- Reading your Bible or Praying more
- Taking a weekly Sabbath
- Using essential oils
- Reading more books
- Drinking more water
The list is endless! To help you succeed on your 90-day journey, I’ve created this 90-Day Habit Tracker. There’s space to write out your desired new habit, a list of why it’s so important, and your reward for sticking with it! Simply check off each day that you complete your habit (I suggest a different color for each month), and watch your progress! Keep it in your planner, on your desk, or on a bulletin board where you’ll be sure to see it every day. At the end of 90 days, you will have a great sense of accomplishment (not to mention a healthy new habit!).
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