It feels like just yesterday when we were on the countdown to the holiday break. Now the New Year has come, and we’re looking forward to what 2021 holds for us. This got me thinking about how many people have made a New Year’s resolution, and how long they will be able to keep them. Although we all want to do better every year, New Year’s resolutions don’t work for the majority of people. Research shows that only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions.
That's why this year, we are in the process of making new habits, rather than resolutions.
How to create a new habit
So, how do you make a new habit? Theoretically, it is as easy as 1-2-3:
- Pick a small action.
- Attach the new action to a previous habit.
- Make the new action easy to do for at least the first week.
Great examples are: I will try one new healthy recipe once a week; I will not add the second teaspoon of sugar in my lattes; I will get off my train/tram/bus 2 stops early and walk the last part into the office. These are small and simple changes that will require a conscious effort but won’t feel like a chore.
Persistence is key
So how long does it take to form a new habit? 21 days is the most popular answer on the internet, which is taken from an article in the 1960s. Later research puts it closer to an average of 66 days before a new habit is second nature – some participants took up to 254 days… so don’t feel discouraged if you fall off the wagon for your first few attempts. If you’re really serious about breaking some old habits and creating some new ones, try reading the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – our fellow Clicksters have had great success after reading it.
Personally, I’m looking to make a new habit of waking up 30 minutes earlier every day to go for a quick run around the park to start my day on a positive note. This has the added benefit of not requiring any fancy equipment or gear, which means there is no excuse for people not to try it at least once.
Try starting with a healthy snack
If you are looking to curb your habit of eating unhealthy treats, expand your healthy recipe repertoire and try these chocolate-dipped banana cream pops to cool down this summer. It’s great for tricking the young ones into a healthy snack and perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth. For those looking for a guilt-free snack, try mashing up a banana and putting it in a ziplock bag in the freezer for an even easier way to freshen up your breakfast. Simply add the frozen banana onto yogurt or muesli, add it into a smoothie, or enjoy it by itself as an on the go snack. It’s perfect for this summer heat.
As always, feel free to let us know if there are any particular topics you would love us to look into this year or if you’d like to feature in an upcoming issue of Wellness Matters. You can email us here.