For the majority of us, our New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory. Approximately 92% of people who make resolutions fail with their intention to kick a nasty habit, eat better or exercise by the time spring comes around.  So if you’re one of the 8% who have succeeded, way to go!!!! And for the rest of you, I’m here to help. 

Our habits have a major impact on our lives and we often associate them as being negative, but with a little extra effort and consistency, you can make your habits work for you. When we repeatedly perform a specific task, a neurological pathway is formed in our brain. This allows us to easily navigate situations without having to think creatively about a solution. It’s like riding a bike. It’s hard in the beginning but eventually with enough practice it becomes second nature.

So in order to help you make your habits work for you we’ve got some spring cleaning to do first. Out with the old, in with the new!  Here are 3 tips to help you conquer any bad habits that are holding you back from being your most awesome self.

1) Get To Know Your Habit

The first step is acknowledging that it exists. The next step is getting to know it and it’s deepest darkest secrets. Find out what triggers it and the ways it negatively effects you. Understanding your relationship with your habit will help to empower you in conquering it. For example: Let’s say that every time you find yourself super stressed out you find comfort in polishing off a bag of chips (you’re not alone, it happens). A habit that only leaves you feeling guilty with a bad case of gut rot. Acknowledging this trigger and becoming aware of the consequences will help you make a better decision next time you find yourself in that situation.

2) Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Don’t try and overhaul your entire life at once. Focus on one habit at a time. Keeping it simple leads to small victories that create a momentum that will grow into big results! If you set the goal too big, your lazy brain will rebel in order to save energy (it really hates change, even if it’s the best thing for it). Creating changes so small that they seem trivial helps avoid a rebellious brain. To your brain, it’s all about perception. Classic example: If you want to start going to bed earlier because your 2 am bedtime leaves you with a sloth-like energy in the morning, start with setting your bedtime 15 minutes earlier to start off and increase by an additional 15 minutes each week until you’re hitting the sack at your ideal bedtime. If you are a 2:00am Netflix grinder and your ideal bedtime is 10:00pm, your brain isn’t going to be too keen on a 4 hours transition right off the bat. Ease into it.

3) Create Accountability

Once you’ve chosen the simple habit that you want to ditch, you have to commit to changing it. Some people are great at holding themselves accountable, but if you’re not one of them, don’t fret. Here’s a few creative ways to create accountability:

– Share your goals with friends, family or co-workers. Perhaps they will want to join in, but even just talking about your goals can sometimes make them more “real”.

– Join a community or facebook group.

– Recruit an accountability buddy who wants to rock this with you. You can keep each other on track.

– Reward yourself. Pay yourself each time you achieve your goal or avoid falling into your bad habit. The money will add up, the pounds will fall off and you’ll have saved enough cash to take a trip to a sunny beach to show off your hot new body!

– Invest in yourself by seeking out a professional to keep you on track and support you along the way.

– Write yourself a contract. Outline the details of your goals, how you plan on achieving them and set dates. Get a loved-one to witness and sign it with you.

Spring is a perfect time to clean out what we no longer have use for, in our lives and our homes. Making simple changes can have huge impacts on our lives.

” We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” – Aristotle

In health & good habits,

Heather