If you’re looking to establish a new habit, the key is to pair it with an existing one. For instance, if you aim to increase your water intake, simply link it with routines you already follow:
– “I’ll have a glass of water every time I brush my teeth.” Keep a glass near the sink for convenience.
– “After every cup of coffee, I’ll also have a mug of water.” This is my personal practice.
– “With each meal, I’ll consume one glass of water.”
– “Whenever I use the restroom, I’ll also drink a glass of water.”
Combine any of these methods and you’ll effortlessly reach your daily water goal.
Why does this strategy work so well? Establishing a new habit is challenging because it involves creating new neural pathways in the brain. As you age, your brain becomes less receptive to change. The solution? Leverage existing neural pathways by pairing new habits with old ones.
Consider protein intake as another example:
– “Before I touch anything else on my plate, I’ll eat at least 3oz of protein.” A portion the size of your palm is a good guideline.
– “During the first commercial break of my 7pm show, I’ll consume 3oz of protein.”
– “I’ll have 3oz of protein with my second cup of coffee.”
– “When I collect my mail at 3pm, I’ll also eat 3oz of protein.”
Another fantastic idea comes from my business mentor, Sharran Srivatsaa. Whenever he finds himself waiting in line, he sends a ‘gratitude text’ to someone he values, stating, “I am so grateful for you because…”
Ready to get started?
1. Catalog the activities you engage in EVERY day, even those you don’t consciously think about, like brushing your teeth. These are your anchor habits.
2. Create an option list for your new habit. For instance, if you want to start stretching, jot down 20 different stretches.
3. Begin modestly: choose just one or two stretches to start with.
4. Commit for at least two weeks. If it doesn’t stick, adjust the cue or simplify the habit. Slow down if needed, but keep going.
Need guidance on which habit to adopt? Schedule a complimentary No-Sweat Intro at Sentry HERE.