Inner Reflections
November 6, 2023

3 Tips To Make Habits Stick

Have you ever tried to start a new habit? Like being consistent with daily meditation or practicing yoga every day…drinking more water? It can be so challenging! Here are my top three tips for getting a habit to stick.

Be kind to yourself. When we stop and start an activity or continuously place it on the back burner it can be fodder for guilt or shame to set in, creating the opportunity for our inner critic to pipe up and confirm our worst fears. Recently I felt like I had my exercise routine locked in and it felt so good! Yoga 3x per week, Strength 2x per week, and daily neighborhood walks. And then we moved, and my routine got turned upside down. Instead of feeling guilty that I missed a few days…weeks or (gasp!) …months, I didn’t make it a big deal and just started back at it. I took walks to explore my new city, I checked out a few yoga studios when I was able, and I embraced the cycle of change. This isn’t the first time I’ve fallen out of routine…holidays, family or friends visiting, vacations and traveling – all these can interrupt my regular routine. What I decided a while ago was that this was okay and to embrace the change. To know that I will return to my habit soon. It’s okay to start and stop, fall out of routine, and just simply start back up again. Allowing shame to take too deep a hold can be the driving force behind never truly starting back up again.

Set the bar SUPER low. If you are yearning to start something new or jump back into an activity, set the bar SUPER low. What is that thing that you want to do? Practice more consistently? Sit and meditate? Begin with what feels like an achievable amount of that activity. Then lower the bar. For example, if you aim to meditate twice per day for 20 minutes and think you can fit in five minutes…may begin with less. Start with just two minutes. Set a timer for two minutes or do one of IDM TV’s 5-minute meditation practices and let that be enough. Then once you’ve been consistent with the short practice time, increase it to five minutes, ten minutes, and beyond. Start small, do the baby steps, and allow yourself to just gradually pick up momentum.

Allow it to look different than you thought it would. In the past, I’ve felt that if I didn’t get to my yoga or movement practice first thing in the morning, I would fail. Yet some days due to an early client or early activity it felt so much more wholesome to practice later in the day, at lunch or in the evening. Or if my day was jam-packed, taking small moments to take a few deep breaths or do a short meditation helps me stay grounded. Allow your habit or activity to look different than what you might think is “ideal.” Allow your practice to evolve and change over months and years to fit your life and needs.

Below are some recommended practices as always:

By Christine