As a working mom, it can be challenging to maintain good habits while juggling a demanding job and family responsibilities. Add to that any chronic health issues, and it can feel overwhelming to try to create positive changes in our lives.
But what if we could crowd out the negative habits just by adding in a few good ones? Could it be that simple? Let’s look at the reality of our day: there are only so many hours in the day to do all of our tasks and routines.
By adding in positive habits, you’ll naturally crowd out the negative ones, you can gradually replace the ones that don’t serve you because there’s just no time to do them all! And, viola, with little effort, we improve our overall well-being!
Now, that’s a little easier said than done, so we’ve got a few ideas for you on how to incorporate these small, daily healthy habits.
How to Crowd In the Good:
Replace negative habits with positive ones.
You are hardwired to focus on the negative. It’s how the human brain and body learn! You’re Instead of focusing on eliminating negative habits, try to replace them with positive ones. For example, if you tend to scroll on your phone before bed, replace that habit with something more beneficial, like reading a book, journaling or meditating.
Start small and build from there.
Trying to make too many changes at once can be overwhelming and lead to burnout. Going too hard and too fast takes us out of our window of tolerance, and we often feel a recoil and end up two steps further back than where we started. Have you ever crash dieted and started a rigorous exercise routine, only to find yourself eating a sleeve of Oreos in the pantry a month later? This is the recoil effect at work.
Instead, pick one habit that you want to incorporate into your routine and focus on that. For example, if you want to start drinking more water, aim to drink an extra glass every day until it becomes a habit. Once you have that habit down, you can add in another one. If you’re looking for some help on how to zero-in on where in your life would benefit most from a healthy habit, download our Wheel of Life Tool.
Make a ritual around your new habit.
We all have different schedules and lifestyles, so it’s essential to create a routine that works for you. We like to make it special, like a ritual. If you’re looking to add a few minutes of face yoga every morning, try putting some nice smelling oil or lotion into your hands and taking a moment to inhale deeply and give yourself a moment of zen. This more sophisticated practice will feel less like a chore, and more like a moment of self-care. Consistency is key, so try to stick to the same time every day.
Habit stack around other existing habits.
James Clear, and his NY Times Best Seller, Atomic Habits outlines that it’s best to incorporate new habits into existing ones. For example; if you’d like to start journaling but are struggling to find the time, sandwich it in between plugging your phone at night and tucking into bed. Every time you plug in your phone, you’ll be triggered to pick up your journal and write for five minutes, solidifying your routine.
Find accountability and support.
It can be helpful to have someone to hold you accountable and cheer you on. Find a friend, family member, or colleague who has a similar goal and work on your habits together. If you’re looking to be your own accountability buddy, check our our Healthy Habits Planner which helps you break down the habit you want to create. It includes 3-months of flexible habit tracking and monthly intentions and reflections to solidify it.
Celebrate your progress.
It may seem silly to celebrate getting through an entire day without reaching for an additional coffee, or giving a yahoo! to drinking an additional glass of water, however, if you want your habits to stick, it’s essential to celebrate your successes. Recognizing your progress gives yourself a little dopamine reward and will keep you motivated and help you stay on track.
Creating positive habits doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By starting small, creating a routine, finding accountability and support, replacing negative habits with positive ones, and celebrating your progress, you can gradually crowd out the habits that don’t serve you.
Remember, it’s okay to start small and take it one step at a time. Positive changes take time and effort, but the results are worth it. Start today, and see how small changes can lead to a happier, healthier life.