HEALTHY HABITS WORKSHEET
One of my focuses over the last few months has been to create some healthy/healthier habits that support my self care.
It might be to stop/do something less, like drinking lattes every single day (hello now suddenly wider hips), or it might be to start/do something more, like going for more walks or beginning my mornings with a simple meditation or journaling practice.
Over the years I've tried lot's of ways to create new habits, most of which either weren't sustainable, or didn't personally work for me, so I created my own method.
So far it's been working beautifully and best part, it's really simple to add into your everyday.
So here's my personal method for creating new healthy habits in 30 days.
Please feel free to use and adapt as you want, and you're also welcome to download the Healthy Habits Worksheet below to use too.
At the bottom of this page, you'll also find two of my favourite books on creating new habits.
Wanna listen instead of read? Click here:
Firstly, when I've tried to create new habits before and I've simply said to myself 'I'm going to do more of this from now on', say, to drink more water each day, but day two I've usually forgotten. I've gone in with the good intention, yet as I've no clear goals/measures/timescales/something to remind me, it's easy to forget - it's not yet a new 'habit' after all.
Or if I've used a habit tracker, where I need to track how many times I've done something over a period of time, I've always felt guilty when I start to see there are missing days that I've skipped or forgotten, and then that guilt has made me not wanna look at my tracking sheet, and because I'm not looking at it, I'm back to the point above and forgetting to do it.
The 30 day Healthy Habits method gives you a way to measure your new habit forming while also giving you flexibility without bringing in the guilt.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS
Firstly, decide what new habit you'd like to focus on and why. For example, as I write this the new habit I'm focusing on is walking for 30 minutes for 30 days. I feel out of my regular exercise routine after my guys accident, so for me, this is a way of easing back in with something simple that isn't high impact on my body. Plus is also begins to build a regular practice of moving my body again more each day - which is the 'why' it's important to me, I hate my body feels stiffer and more 'achey' that in used to, and I want to feel light, flexible and more gracious again.
When choosing a new habit, I focus on just ONE at a time. Habits take a little work, they need practice and nurturing, so just focusing on one always feels doable
Plus I can see how that just that ONE change has really made a difference to my life/self care, because it usually brings more with it than I was expecting.
Also for me, trying to make too many changes at once feels overwhelming. It starts feeling like a chore list I need to tick off each day rather than something pleasurable to look forward to and do on my 30 day experiment. So of course it's up to you, but I recommend focusing on just one at a time - after all, that's still makes twelve lovely new habits to support you over a year.
Before beginning, ask yourself how committed you are to focusing on/doing that thing for 30 days. If it's anything less than a nine out of ten, I'd suggest choosing something else.
Once you have a habit that feels like a nine or ten, make the promise and commitment to yourself to see your 30 days through.
That one action right there (making a real commitment to you) is powerful.
Here's where it gets a little different.
Write the date down that you're starting your 30 day Healthy Habits journey on. On the worksheet I've provided, you'll see 30 boxes which represent each day you complete/do your new habit which are free from dates or numbers.
You are welcome to add any if you choose, I personally opt to leave them blank.
The reason being, when I begin my 30 day journey - and here we'll use the walking for 30 minutes each day habit - if I happen to forget one day, or I don't go for my walk for some reason, I simply continue on the next day until I've completed 30 days.
Even if I 'miss' one day, I don't leave any squares blank. I commit to continuing on the next day until 30 days are complete - even if they're not consecutive. This one change in the process removed all the guilt I had previously felt with other methods, and continued my motivation to keep my commitment to myself and complete the full 30 days.
On the Healthy Habits sheet I've created, I've also left plenty of space for any notes. Here I jot down any thoughts, feelings new awarenesses I might have had as I go through the journey, or any reasons I might have missed a day or two - say, I had couple days where I was full of cold, or I'd squashed my diary so full of appointments I had no time, or felt so exhausted by the end of the day I didn't want to go out walking.
At the end, this helps me see any changes I need to make to support my new healthy habit better, for example planning when I'll go for my walk, or booking a couple less appointments and leaving some space in my diary etc.
Once I've completed my full 30 days, I write the date in again so I can see how long it took me. I also take a few minutes to reflect on what I've learnt, how I felt, and what changes I've seen or benefited from.
It's here where I look to decide if it's something I want to continue each day and add to my daily self care practice, or whether I want to continue using it to support me in some other way.
Maybe I've adored journalling each morning, and it's something I want to continue each day before breakfast as I see it's sets my focus and intention for the day.
Maybe I've loved walking each day, and while I don't want to continue every single day, it is something lovely I want to do three evenings per week.
And maybe I feel so much healthier not having those lattes each day, yet from time to time enjoying one is a nice thing, so I make an agreement with myself to enjoy one on the weekend, instead of each day on my way to work.
For me, making a space to create a commitment to myself for a set period of time, in a flexible yet measured way really works, and you're welcome to use the worksheet I use each time below - it has plenty of space to add your own extra notes and reflections.
FAVOURITE BOOKS FOR CREATING HABITS
First is The Compound Effect.
It's a little more on the 'buisnessy' side than health/wellness, yet the same principles apply and he's got a really good way of explaining how taking super small yet simple steps repeatedly make a MASSIVE difference (whether it's in your business, life, or health).
The other is Better Than Before.
And loved this one as it breaks down how different personality types respond better to different ways of setting and creating new habits (for example people who tend to instantly want to 'rebel' and do the opposite when told what to do need to look at their habits differently than those who like to stick to the rules and follow a set process.