How to make new habits stick

Making habits stick

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

Did you make any last year?

If so, did you achieve them? And did they become habits that have lasted throughout the year?

Research has found that less than 50% of people are still working towards their goals just a few months later and by the end of the year, only around 9% of people actually achieve their goals.

Only 9%!

That doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth setting any goals, it just means that to make sustainable changes you may have to look at things differently.

To be honest, I am not necessarily a fan of New Year’s resolutions… I feel that there is too much pressure to make them; and for me, I am not necessarily ready to commit to something on the 1st of January every year…

But I am a fan of making goals. And I am a strong believer that what gets written down, gets done.

 

This is my take on these:

  1. Focus on your health to achieve your goals –  Eating healthily, exercising, prioritising sleep and stress management. These are the things that are going to give you the energy and support your mood to fulfil your goals
  2. Recognise what triggers you to give up on your goals – If healthy eating is a goal for you, having a meal plan (at least initially) and being prepared (meal prepping for the week or making sure that you have the right foods in your fridge or your cupboards) could help to avoid just grabbing whatever is available for lunch at your local corner shop or express supermarket.
  3. Don’t focus on stopping an old habit that doesn’t serve you, focus on a new one. Replace that old habit with working towards making a new one. Take action.
  4. Have a better reason to quit what you have been doing and to build new habits. Write down your ‘Why’. This is your reason for wanting to make it happen and your motivation when the going gets tough i.e. you want to reduce your perimenopause symptoms or lose weight so that you can ………….. (fill in the blank)
  5. Reward yourself every day. Not with cake or chocolate or food treats but with time doing things your love, even for just a few minutes and not feeling guilty when you are doing it… for me, it might be sitting down to read a book for 15 minutes or buying fresh flowers
  6. Posing a yes or no question to yourself daily – Am I going to eat healthily today? Am I going to exercise today? Saying yes/no reminds you of who you want to be and what you want to do. It can make you question your behaviour.

You can check out this episode on the Apple podcasts – E208 – 5 Scientific Rules for Making & Breaking Habits in 2023!

I also highly recommend the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. I wrote a blog post on what I learnt from it reading it, which you can read here. 

It doesn’t matter whether it’s learning something new or focusing on your health, the same principles apply.

Peri/menopause can change both your body and your brain… so in order to manage your symptoms and your health, you may need to adapt and make some changes to feel your best and protect your future health.

Are you going to do things differently this year?

 

For a free meal plan and menu planner for women over 40 click here