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Healthy You

How to Take on a New Positive Habit

Monday, May 03, 2021 8:27 AM

It's not uncommon for people to set a big, lofty goal with high hopes and expectations of great success — only to realize they set the bar too high and failed to achieve it. If you want to incorporate a healthy new habit into your life, starting small can pay off big. Commit to one new tiny habit — like doing one minute of meditation before bedtime — and make it part of your routine at least 4 times a week.

According to Katherine Hanson, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, incorporating tiny habits into your routine is an incredibly effective way to form new habits of behavior for life.

New Positive Habits

Try these three simple steps:

Make it a small new habit. Whatever you choose for your new habit, reduce it to its smallest component. For example, instead of aiming for a new goal of 30 minutes of gym time every day, start with doing something small, like 5 sit-ups a day.

Time-block this habit. Do this new, tiny habit at the same time each day. Preferably, use an already-existing habit as a bookend to this new habit. For example, do your 5 sit-ups a day before you go to bed. Your new habit will be triggered by an existing habit.

Remind yourself. New habits take time to form, and you'll need to actually remind yourself to do them. Although your time blocks may help you remember, you may also want to think about other methods that can help you, like sticky notes on your mirror, calendar reminders or working with a friend who can help support you.

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