Overview: Making progress towards any of our goals typically involves developing new habits and routines. Given how difficult it can be to develop new habits, sometimes you need to be very structured and systematic in how you go about it. This post and handout outlines 50+ self reflection questions and recommendations for what you could do to improve habit formation. Reading time ~ 30 minutes (that includes the full attached document).
I can’t think of anyone I know who hasn’t at some point in their life told me about their attempts to start ‘eating healthy’ or ‘getting more exercise’ or ‘looking after themselves better’.
Me personally, I’ve had many failed attempts to start a new diet, or get more exercise, or spend more time with friends. It is common for us to set goals but have trouble modifying our lives in a way that meaningfully progresses us towards those goals.
Establishing new healthy habits is hard and has been a topic of interest to me for a while.
So I put together a handout on the topic.
The attached handout covers many of the different methods that health psychologists have used to help people develop new habits., which I am calling Habit Hacks.
A habit is something that we do regularly and pretty much automatically – for example – brushing your teeth.
If you can establish ‘healthy habits’ you are well on your way to putting in the foundation for long-term health and wellbeing.
In fact, my Introduction to Mental Fitness course, when it is all boiled down, is really a guide for building mentally or psychologically healthy habits.
Turning something into a habit, whether it be meditation, or exercise, or journaling requires specific attention, especially if we are trying to establish a complex or difficult habit.
In this handout are 50+ techniques you could use to help you in that process. The techniques are expressed as questions, where you can reflect on your current behaviour change efforts and see where you might be able to improve your methods.
I DON’T recommend trying to do all 50, but I do recommend, if you are trying to establish a new habit, identifying a handful you think might help you and implementing those.
Those of you working in health fields might also find these ideas useful in helping your clients make positive health behaviour changes.
You can access a digital copy by clicking the image below.
If you’ve found cool ways to help you stick to regular healthy behaviours, I’d love to hear about them.