WW Question – Building Healthy Habits

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s time for us to ask ourselves another question. These questions are to help us focus on our wellness each week and do some real thinking about how we can improve it.

On Monday, we talked about building healthy habits. Good habits really are, as James Clear puts it, the “compound interest of self-improvement” (1)….or in this case, wellness improvement.

Starting small helps us develop good habits and build consistency. This moves us toward our goals and helps us see successes along the way.

So this week, let’s ask ourselves:

Teal background with conversation bubble that reads, "What small habit could I easily build onto things I'm already doing?"

As you may already have experienced at one time or another, new habits are easier to build when they fit into what we’re already doing in our daily lives. Finding something we’re already doing and adding to that is the easiest way to start.

Now that we’ve decided which new habit we want to add, let’s figure out what we need to do to get started.

Anatomy of a Tiny Habit

Remember the Tiny Habits (2) template we used on Monday? The ABC’s of building those new habits? Here’s a refresher to help us get started….

First we need our Anchor. This anchor is some sort of routine (like brushing your teeth) or event (such as your alarm going off) that will act as your cue to do the new behavior (that you’re building into a habit).

Next we have our new tiny Behavior. This is the very easy-to-do, simplified version of the new habit you want to build. For example, maybe we want to build in a new habit of walking a mile a day. We certainly wouldn’t want to try to start out with a mile. Our starting point might be to walk 50 extra steps, or walk up and down the driveway each day….something that we could easily start with. Once we’re consistent with that, we can start to add more distance until we build up to our mile.

Lastly, we want to Celebrate our success immediately. We give ourselves a “well done,” high-five ourselves in the mirror, or do a little happy dance – whatever makes us feel good about what we just did. This may sound silly, but it’s to reinforce positive emotions around the behavior. Something we feel good about is much easier to continue doing.

Do you have a small habit you can start today? If you’re comfortable sharing, we’d love to hear what you’re planning to do!

Blessings,

~ Terri

Pin for Later:

Calendar with NEW HABITS highlighted in yellow with text overlay: What New Habit Do You Want to Build?

Sources:

(1) Atomic Habits, 2018; James Clear; Penguin Random House UK; London

(2) Tiny Habits, 2020; BJ Fogg, PhD; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing; New York

12 comments

  1. Not be easily distracted so I can focus on one thing at a time, but I fear that isn’t so tiny!

  2. My old goal was to move at least 250 steps between 8 am and 9 pm. My Fitbit reminds me at 10 til the hour – how many steps I need for my 250 goal. I get discouraged when I miss one and think – oh well I will start again tomorrow. My new goal is to get 8000 steps a day which is the same as my husband’s daily goal. So even if I miss moving 250 steps during the day I am still happy if I get 8000 steps. Your Wednesday Wellness on 7/1 was perfect for me. Will be thinking what is my anchor to kickstart my steps.

  3. Such easy to digest information, Terri! What a great way to encourage and inspire healthy habits, one day at a time! Isn’t it amazing how good it feels to accomplish something, even small tasks, that we’ve set out to do? As you’ve pointed out, the more we celebrate even our small wins – the more motivation we have for the big wins!

    For me, the habit I need to change is a terribly critical inner voice. When left unchallenged, that ‘voice’ goes into overdrive. Before I know it, it’s almost as if I’m paralyzed with that old, unhelpful pattern. I’ve found it much easier to change physical habits than the mental ones. Perhaps it stems from too many years of toxic relationships and abuse. Whatever the case, loving myself and believing in me is something I really need to work on.

    Amazing advice, my friend. You always know exactly what to say to be a blessing. Thank you for all you do! ♥ God bless you & yours!

    1. Thank you so much Holly – you are far too kind! I’ve had the same experience as you with finding mental habits harder to change than the physical ones. Of course, the mental ones are the ones that often block us from changing the physical ones…. Wishing you lots of success with your positive change sweet friend! Hugs!

  4. A great post again Terri. As for myself, the one thing that I’m trying to incorporate more, in light of working from home, is being disciplined. I noticed these past couple of months, I’m not at inclined to start my work promptly like I would’ve done if I had gone into the office. Guess being at home just makes me a little lazy. Just making sure I get up every day and doing what I need to do is the one thing I’m trying to incorporate into my life right now.

  5. Your post reminds me of the quote “Little hinges swing big doors.” If me make small, incremental changes they can up to big results. I always go back to the things that work for me when it comes to health: logging my food and exercise, drinking plenty of water, and eating a clean, well balanced diet (with little to no gluten or dairy).

  6. I wanted to move more and get up earlier. I have a step counter watch with an alarm function. The watch now vibrates every hour during working hours and I get up every single time. Naturally I move more. I have also added 5 min extra time to my daily walk. Now it is easy to walk 12,000 steps. min every day. In terms of getting up early, I want to get up an hour earlier, but first started with 5 min, then 15 min and now I am getting up 30 min earlier. I am getting there bit by bit.

    1. Thanks for sharing Anna, and congratulations on building those positive habits! It’s so much easier to start out small and build on, isn’t it? Hope you’re staying well sweet friend! Blessings to you!

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