Habits are the moments in time and the decisions we make that shape our everyday. The time we wake up, what we do first thing in the morning, how we think, what we eat and drink – everything that we do is a habit. Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina found that 40% of our actions on any given day are based on habit rather than conscious thought. Habits are how addiction forms and how healthy patterns stick, too. Having the courage to change habits or at least work on new ones takes work because they’re so ingrained in us. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits also says that the seed of every habit is a small decision which is repeated and repeated until it grows and then eventually, it just becomes part of our norm.
New Year New Habit
With a New Year approaching,really think about what you want to change about your life. Maybe you want to quit alcohol, go to sleep earlier or read more. Perhaps meditation is on the list or you’re keen to get into a good exercise routine. You may have heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit stick but a recent study by a senior researcher from UCL found that it actually takes over two months – 66 days. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, around 80% of those that are made fail within the first few weeks. It’s important, therefore, to think about how you can make those habits stick without setting yourself up for failure.
Habbit Triggers That Actually Work
Start small. Think about the triggers that can help you remember to stick to something. If you’re looking to get into meditation and the first thing that you do in the morning is head to the kitchen to boil the kettle, pop the kettle on, sit down and take 10 deep breaths in and out through your nose. Set yourself a target to start with this and then perhaps add another 10. Start small so that you’re not failing at the first step.
Habit Stackin: Why Do It
Let’s face it: we all wish we had more time. If you’ve tried habit triggers and they’re not working, try habit stacking. This is where you combine a habit with something else, to ensure that you’re not wasting any time: so exfoliate your face while listening to a mood-boosting podcast, meditate while you’re on the train to work, pop on a face mask while you’re making your breakfast.
Get Micro with Habit Tracking
If you want to get really micro with your habits and feel pure satisfaction when you’ve completed one, try using a habit tracker. Whether you create your own by literally writing it down in a book, downloading an app or finding a free one online to print, there’s something so satisfying about seeing a habit ticked off for multiple days, weeks and months.
So there you have it: habits can be seriously powerful. We recommend taking some time to think about your life, the things you want to work on and improve and the things that you know you could be without. Take note of those things and jot down a couple of habits that you want to carry into the new year. Start small and work your way up and we promise that you’ll see a marked difference in your daily mental and physical health. Pop us a DM @bazandcoskincare and let us know the habits you’re letting shape your new year.