Here are some tips for setting yourself up for success!
- Create visual cues in your home environment and workspace.
- Set reminders in your phone or calendar.
- Post a motivating quote or image to remind yourself to move.
- Compete to be your own personal best while nudging your team members to step it up too.
- Read a book, watch a movie, or look for inspirational quotes to get motivated.
- Set a SMART goal. Write down your goal and post the goal where you will notice it daily. An example: “I want to increase my total amount of movement minutes each week by 30 minutes for the next four weeks.”
Tips for Forming a Habit
We often view habits as daily rituals, customary behaviors, or idiosyncrasies we develop over time.
Habits can be formed using the following formula:
Contextual cue → triggers → Action = habit formation
A real-life example of this formula:
Get in car (cue) triggers → put on seatbelt (action) = habit formation
Use restroom (cue) triggers → wash hands (action) = habit formation
What if we used this formula to create a healthy movement habit?
What would a healthy habit pairing look like?
Two o’clock afternoon slump, set a 2:00 p.m. alarm (cue) triggers → go for an energy walk
(action) = habit formation
Consider the following tips when forming a habit:
- Remember to “pair” the cue and desired action repeatedly, similarly, and consistently.
- Practice daily for at least 70 days for the habit to “stick”; research shows a plateau after 66 days.
- Simple actions that are convenient are easier to adopt versus habits that require a substantial change in lifestyle.
- Habits begin in an “initiation phase.” The initiation phase is when the new behavior and cue are selected.
- Habits develop in the “learning phase.” The learning phase is when behavior is repeated and the habit is strengthened each day.
Make a new healthy habit
- Decide on a goal that you would like to achieve for your health or a healthy habit you would like to form.
- Choose a simple action that will get you toward your goal which you can do on a daily basis.
- Plan when and where you will do your chosen action. Be consistent: choose a time and place that you encounter every day of the week. Write down your plan and post where the plan will be highly visible and serve as a daily reminder.
- Each time you encounter that time and place, do the action.
- It will get easier with time, and within 10 weeks you should find you are doing it automatically without even having to think about it.
- Congratulations, you’ve made a healthy habit!