4 TRICKS TO KICKSTART A NEW HABIT
There’s something so exciting about wanting to start a new habit, right? Except when by midday the next day you’ve already cheated a little bit…. don’t act like you don’t know what we’re talking about.
Let’s be real, we’ve all done this - you get really excited about doing something – like starting a new exercise regime or using a new beauty product but you really struggle to follow through after the first few times. Don’t worry, it’s not just you babe – it’s actually down to how our brains work (more on this below).
Whether it’s going to the gym in the morning, eating healthier, or making time to meditate – we’ve collected the best life hacks that will help you get over the niggly first few days and weeks so you can truly solidify your dream behaviours into your life.
Commit to the new habit and be detailed.What are you going to do, when are you going to do it, how are you going to do it. Write it down, it sounds simple but just by writing down what you want to do will help you feel one step closer to achieving it. It will also really help if you’re creating a new night time or morning ritual so you can plan out the timings and process to make sure it’s achievable for example:
6am - wake up, put on gym clothes
6:15am - brush teeth
6:20am - leave the house
6:35am – arrive at the gym, 45 minute work out
Remind yourself. This one is a simple one really, but if you forget to do your new behaviour, it clearly won’t happen. A reminder as easy as setting an alarm on your phone named “Go to the gym hottie” or creating a visual reminder like leaving the new face mask out next to the sink everyday so you see it and it triggers the act of using it.
Reward yourself. I mentioned earlier about how our brains work, one of the key chemicals that contributes to our motivation levels is called dopamine. When your brain knows that something good is going to happen, it releases dopamine as a way to encourage you to act. It’s basically your brain saying “omg, yay, get up and go to the gym because something good will happen if you do”. Motivation occurs when your brain releases dopamine – how dope (I know, but I had to do it). You can train your brain to release dopamine to help you find the motivation you need by creating mini-rewards for yourself.
This is where we find the hack “mini-rewards” – of course there are big, tangible rewards for new habits like if you exercise every morning you will lose weight or feel better, but the problem is that the reward isn’t always immediate which can be a key factor in why you lose motivation to wake up early. A mini-reward can be as easy as ticking off the day in a calendar or letting yourself get coffee from your café vs. making one at home if you do tick off the habit for the day. When your brain knows that if it helps kick you out of bed in the morning, you will get a mini-reward that day it will release dopamine and boom! Instant motivation boost.
Track your progress. This hack is also closely linked to tip #4, as it can give you a mini-reward by being able to complete your personal success or victory every day that you complete your new habit. I’m sure that you’ve heard that well known saying “it takes 21 days to form a new habit” right? Wrong! (soz) – the real timing is somewhere between 2 to 8 months to cement a habit. There’s a genius little app called “Loop” which is simple and easy to use to help you track your progress.
There’s been a lot of great new research on forming new habits, one of the best parts is that it doesn’t matter if you miss the behaviour a few times. The most important thing is that you maintain consistency in the long run – so keep it up babe, and the world is yours!
"When your brain knows that something good is going to happen, it releases dopamine as a way to encourage you to act. "