How to create healthy habits that stick! - www.wendygriffith.co.uk

Self-care

How to create healthy habits that stick!

Stay consistent and motivated to keep going with your new healthy habits. Here are my easy-to-follow principles that you can implement to create them. Learn how to be successful in becoming a better version of yourself.

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I'm Wendy!

My blog is here to assist other busy career mums, like me, in creating lifestyle habits that serve them , ultimately giving them energy and control back for the life they want to lead

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Have you tried to implement healthier habits, only to find yourself falling back into old ways just a few days or weeks later? In spite of our best intentions, it can be tricky to create healthier habits with all the distractions of modern-day living (especially as a busy mum!).

But, first things first … you need to have a plan. And, by that I mean:

1.    Identify what habits you need

This is such a personal thing. Everybody needs to create different healthy habits to help them thrive.

For me, one of the things I truly need (because I have ADHD, although my whole life I just hadn’t put an official diagnosis to it) is exercise. Exercise is what helps me cope when there are lots of different things going on. Moving my body every day is fundamental to me and my mental wellbeing.

It might be something completely different for you. You need to get to the bottom of this. What is it that will make a world of a difference to the quality of your day, and life? Think about it. Do you need to work on stress? Do you need to work on sleep, exercise, nutrition…? How about mental clarity? Do you have a lot of physical clutter? Figure out what those things are and then you can think about how to tackle them.

Remember: It is about choosing what you enjoy doing. Because if you don’t, you’d probably lose interest very soon. So it’s about doing you and not conforming to what everybody else is doing.

It’s thinking about what works for you and then working backwards on what action steps you are going to take.

  • If it actually is exercise that you need in your life, then I can wholeheartedly recommend the Couch to 5k app.

I’m going to use running with the Couch to 5k app as an example here to illustrate how you can create a healthy habit and stay accountable to yourself and the new habits you’ve created.

So, log into the app and say to yourself: ‘I’m going to do that three times a week, and I’m going to go out, whatever it is, 20 minutes, half an hour, max.’ That is something that doesn’t seem overpowering – the key being that you lower your expectations and start with something that you feel you can stick to.

You could even put a little chart up on the fridge and you could cross off a box every time you do that habit in a week. So, you’ve set your goal of three blocks per week, times four, if there are maybe five weeks in a month, that’s 15 blocks. And every time you do that, cross over a block. It’s so useful to have such a visual. This will give you that sense of achievement. ‘I did it. I did that habit. I performed it!’ I love taking things off the list, don’t you?

That’s why I’ve created a habit tracker, and it’s free for you to download. Click here.

2.    How to make it easier for you to stick with the new habits?

If we could stay on the exercise habit still, make sure you create the conditions that make the habits then easier to do. Easier in the sense of having everything prepared, and all it takes is just you actually doing the thing! For example, making sure that your workout gear is there – you practically have to trip over it before you get out of bed because it is there. It is in your face. It is ready to roll with you. Or, making sure that your water bottle is by the front door, and that your trainers are there, too.

Create healthy habits easily

This is such an important step in the process because a habit takes as long as it takes you for it to be automatic.

3.    Habit stacking

Now that you’ve got clarity on what it is exactly that you want and need to do to nourish your body and soul, and you’ve created the conditions for those to happen, it’s about finding a way how some of those items on the checklist work with one another.

  • Let’s say you’ve got the following on your to-do list:
  • exercise (improve energy levels)
  • listen to a podcast you follow (feed the mind)
  • fold laundry (clear the clutter)
  • buy some groceries (pure errand, but related to nutrition as well)
  • make and have a protein shake (feed the body good stuff)
  • spend quality time with your kid(s) and talk about whatever with them (end goal, always)

Habit stacking means that you combine some of your to-dos so that they complement each other. Here’s what you could do:

  • If there isn’t too much to buy from the supermarket, walk there, or even run. Get your groceries and head back home, listening to your favourite podcast all the while.
  • Involve your kids in making your healthy shake. Ask them to make some decisions for you as to what ingredients you should include in it (strawberries or raspberries?). And then, give them credit for the lovely shake. You can even share it with them and continue spending time with them. You’d be giving them a wonderful example of how to take care of their bodies’ needs and bond at the same time.
  • Do 5 – 10 reps of an exercise of your choice each time you fold 10 items. This will not only make your boring laundry folding less of a frown-upon activity, but it will lift your spirits because you’ve included some movement. Or, you could play some music and each time the chorus goes, dance away at it, and then go back to folding again.

I give more ideas about how to habit stack in my podcast episode: Healthy habit hacks for busy mums.

Healthy habit hacks for working mums - Healthy and thriving career mums podcast - episode 2

So the idea is to merge things that can be merged, and that way feel more productive.

You might be going: ‘Where’s 5 reps of something going to get me, Wendy?’ However, if you look at those 5 reps multiplied by the number of clothes you fold, for example 30, it means that you’d be doing 15 reps that day. Should you apply the same principle to several of your activities and do 15 reps every day, that then adds up to 105 reps a week. You can’t deny that’s something! Can you imagine how much stronger your body is going to feel and be just from that one habit?

The thing with habits is that on their own, they seem so insignificant, but when they’re compounded over time, they make such a difference. They are seemingly insignificant but are hugely significant in the long term.

Compound and pull those good habits all together to actually save you time, which as a busy mum, is exactly what you need.

So what 2-3 small habits are you going to start with? 

My top tip is to make yourself accountable by tracking them.

You can do this by downloading the habit tracker app or if you’re a more visual person (this is my personal preference), then you can download my 90 days of intentions habit tracker.

I love to print this off and put it in a prominent place (like my fridge or bathroom mirror), so it reminds me daily of what my intentions and goals are.  Every day that I complete that action step/habit, I tick it off.  This instantly builds self-esteem and creates positive reinforcement for me of completing it, which makes me want to keep doing it over and over until it becomes an automatic habit.  Then I can focus on another one and do the same until that becomes a habit.

Remember – you don’t need a “new you”. You just need 2-3 healthier habits to become that next-level version of you.   Because the only person you’re in competition with is the person you were yesterday.

P.S. When you’re ready here are a few ways I can help…

  1. Download my free meal planner and save yourself hours and reduce your mental load.
  2. Subscribe and listen to my Healthy & Thriving Career Mums podcast all about health, habits and mindset for busy mums.
  3. Join our Healthy Thriving Career Mums community. The No.1 free group for career mums who want to build healthier habits and thrive.
  4. Get ‘The Busy Mums Guide To Healthy Habits’ – my e-book to help you build healthier & sustainable habits to thrive in 90 days.
  5. Do you need more support & accountability with your habits? I can help you with my 1-2-1 coaching.

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