Create Better Habits for Better Results
By Megan Bartel, LIGHT Program Manager
This year, I had a different plan of attack to conquer my intentions in hopes to make my New Year’s resolutions and goals last longer than a month. I did this by taking a long hard look at my habits.
American author, John C. Maxwell, said it best, "You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine."
So, where do we even begin?
As an avid reader of many self-evolvement books, I know it can be overwhelming with all of the tactics, trends and things to try.
"Atomic Habits" by James Clear is "packed with evidence-based self-improvement strategies that will teach you how to make the small changes that will transform your habits and deliver remarkable results."
Sounds good, right? Clear says your habits are a signal of how you feel. If you understand the reason why your habits pop up at the same time each day, then it becomes easier to find a new habit to fill that void.
For me, movement was a new habit that was my number one priority to break and make.
Personally, I have tried everything under the sun to make exercise a priority. I’ve tried different motivation tactics and reward systems, but nothing has ever stuck. Changing the word "exercise" to "movement" helped me look at this goal in a different light through small changes. For example, I used to work out three days a week, but switched to 30 minutes of daily movement. It is easier for me to choose when I want to move 30 minutes within a day vs. picking three days a week to work out for one hour each session. This can lead me into making excuses where I’ll say, "I’ll just work out the next day" and "the next day" then all of a sudden, my week is gone and I only worked out once.
Clear says, "Pick a new habit that is easy enough that you don’t need motivation to do it. If you want a new habit to become a regular, consistent habit, attach it to another habit you consistently do."
Every time I fill up my water bottle, I will take a longer route that usually includes stairs. It’ll take me less than five minutes and if I fill up my water three times daily, this little route adds up! Plus, I am also drinking more water. Accomplishing two habits in one!
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habits are what keep you going." Good habits or bad habits always deliver results—so what would you like your result to be?