Creating Habits for Health and Wellness
Published By Courtney Sinclair on January 20th, 2021 in Edge Insider
As the world around us is in flux and our lives are feeling disrupted we’d like to offer support in one thing that is within our control; our habits.
This past year maintaining health and wellness has collectively been put to the test. It has been a challenge to find motivation for movement, to access fitness facilities, to leave our homes, and sometimes simply to feel positive. However, with focused attention and effort on a few key areas, we may experience resilience in these times through nurturing the needs of our mind and body. Through the implementation of healthy habits, we may build a strong foundation for our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare.
Look at your current habitual patterns
“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” – John Dryden
The seemingly small choices we make on a daily basis have the power to create the trajectory of our lives. After all, life is the accumulation of moments – and of our actions in each moment. Take a moment to really notice all of the patterns in your daily activities as well as their outcome.
Sometimes things become habits unintentionally, right under our nose. You may notice some healthy practices you’d like to reinforce or some not so friendly ones that you’d like to shift. It’s possible you may see some unhelpful patterns that snuck in over the past year as a result of change and stress. The good news is that the daily discipline of shifting behaviour through small acts yield big change.
Define the identity you want to embody
Now that you’ve taken stock of your current habits, it’s time to anchor into a vision of what you’d like them to be supporting. We love these thoughts on using your actions to vote for the type of person that you believe you are and building up evidence as positive momentum:
‘Your habits are the way that you embody a particular identity. Every morning that you make your bed you embody the identity of an organized person or someone who is clean. Every time you go to the gym you embody the identity of someone who is fit. Every time you sit down to write you embody the identity of someone who is a writer. So in that sense every action that you take is like a vote for the type of person that you believe you are and as you take these actions you build up evidence or a particular identity and pretty soon your beliefs have something to root themselves in. That is the true reason why habits are so important.’ – James Clear
Build and implement supportive habits
Moving in the direction of the identity you’d like to embody may mean creating new behaviours and/or shifting existing ones to a new direction with a more desired outcome. Through an understanding of the habit cycle of ‘cue, response, and reward’ the links on how our past habits have been created and how we have the power to create new ones become clear. We’ve created a free PDF download to guide you through the process of implementing the habit cycle. This includes identifying new habits you’d like to create as well as current ones you’d like to shift.
A habit success story
Habit Reset Retreat co-facilitator Tim Lucier shares, “I first learned about the habit cycle from Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. I had been really struggling with my weight and body image, and I found it so powerful to be able to recognize different cues and the cravings they were creating. This was early on in my experience with developing habits with purpose. I really latched on to ‘controlling my environment’ as a way of limiting certain cues. For example, by making it so that chips were no longer easily accessible on my kitchen counter, I didn’t see them, crave them, or binge on them. At this time I also implemented a reward to reinforce a new habit I was investing in – going to the gym. After each workout, I rewarded myself by going in the steam room or sauna. Over time this compounded, and became a 5x/week habit for me that laid the groundwork for an incredible shift in my body and spirit.”
Looking for support in this process?
We hope you enjoyed the habit cycle exercise in the free download ‘Evolving your habit cycle with the habit cycle‘.
If you are seeking support through habit transformation and implementation we invite you to join us for The Habit Reset. This new retreat is designed for goal-setting and anchoring into the habits that help us to reach them.