I wanted this post to be about how I mastered habit training. But the truth is, I kept pushing back this post because though I did really well for a long time (months!!), I have recently fallen off. More often than previously, I’ve reached for a fruit juice drink instead of water. I’ve stopped working out every day and I moved to about 4-5 times a week. Though I have almost nailed down my morning routine, there have been more instances that I opted to sleep in and skip journalling. I’m sooo over feeling guilty for not giving my body what it needs to effectively power me through the day. Time to stop looking back at the good months and to stop feeling guilty for the goals that I missed. Time to get back on track!
Here are the habit training tips that I plan on implementing:
Set yourself up for success! If you want to put exercise into your routine, schedule a class and lay your workout clothes out the night before. To make it a habit faster, put your workouts into your calendar and try to schedule it roughly the same time every day (or, at least every weekday. For example, my Monday workout schedule is different from my Friday workout schedule, but every Monday workout is on the same schedule…if that makes sense). Want to drink more water? Make sure that your favorite reusable water bottle is always handy. I have even resorted to keeping backup water bottles in places like my car or at work to make the process easier.
Brendan Burchard, the author of High-Performance Habits, mentions this technique quite a bit
I’m am definitely a visual person. Seeing a visual representation of my progress helps keep me motivated to continue. At the very least, it engages my slight OCD of not wanting to see a disruption in the pattern. There are a few tools that I have found helpful in tracking the habits that I want to solidify.
The first is wearing my Apple Watch. Having a wearable activity tracker (and actually wearing it every day) has been the easiest as far as tracking my exercise. I can check my progress throughout the day, or I can use the app to analyze my progress across the month.
My favorite habit tracking tool is actually an app called Habit Minder. I like it because the app allows you to track so many things! Currently, the habits that I am focusing on are making sure that I am drinking enough water, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise, and journaling. My apple watch activity app/health app and the Habit Minder app communicate with each other, so I don’t have to take the additional step to log it. However, I use the app throughout the day to keep track of my water intake. In addition, I have reminders set through the app to keep me on track with my water goal. I almost forgot to mention the best part! Once you complete all of your habits for the day, the screen erupts in fireworks! Yay positive reinforcement!
Lastly, there is using a good ole habit tracker. You can easily draw one out on a piece of paper, on a whiteboard, or find a template online. I actually got one built into my agenda this year. The basic concept is to record whether or not you completed the habit each day. With a habit tracker, you would color the square in to indicate that it was complete. Or, you could simply put a symbol on your calendar to say that you completed the task (who wouldn’t want to give themselves a gold star for the day!?).