Looking to adopt new habits in midlife? It can be challenging to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. If you are feeling stuck right now, bringing a new healthy habit into your life can be an incredible mood lifter. I hope these tips help you adopt new habits that stick!
1. Ditch perfection.
When trying to adopt a new habit, be realistic about what you can achieve. Don’t set yourself up to fail with impossible ideas of what you can accomplish. It’s common to overestimate what you can achieve in a year and underestimate what you can do in 5 years. Focus on progress over perfection – small steps add up!
2. Avoid comparison.
Focus on YOU. Refrain from comparing yourself to others. Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter 20. Our perceptions of how easy it is for someone else are rarely correct.
3. Leverage the psychology of building habits.
Understanding how your brain works (and using that to your advantage) can help make a new habit stick.
- Stack your habits. It’s easier for your brain to remember a new practice when it’s attached to an engrained part of your routine. I add my morning collagen to my coffee because I never go without my morning caffeine boost!
- Leave visual cues. A post-it note or your workout clothes in plain sight can help trigger your brain to remember the task.
4. Break the habit into steps.
One step in the right direction today is better than no step at all! Break down bigger goals into smaller steps and start with one habit at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up if you try to change everything at once. I love reading, but starting a new book is a big time commitment. I aim to read 10 pages every day – it feels much more doable!
5. Don’t wait to feel motivated.
Don’t wait until you’re ready to adopt a new habit. It’s easy to push off a new habit or adventure (even if it’s something we’re excited about) because change is hard. Jumping in with a tiny step each day will help create that feeling of motivation. Accept that sometimes it will be a challenge. It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it!
6. Enlist a buddy.
Having an accountability partner can help you stay on track. Whether you are both working towards the same goal or showing support, it’s helpful to have a friend on your side.
7. Celebrate small wins.
Give yourself something to look forward to. Recognize the small wins you are making towards your bigger goal. Continually celebrating the little things will help you stay motivated. It’s the little things on repeat that add up to big success!
8. Create a Why.
We are much more likely to stick with something in our lives if we have a purpose behind it. Why are you trying to make these changes? Want to quit your 9-5 and open a business to do what you love? Keep that reason on hand and reflect on it when you feel like giving up.
9. Give yourself grace.
Recognize that you are human and are not aiming for perfection. Accept that you will slip some days. Just don’t let one mistake make you give up entirely!
10. Make it as easy as possible!
Make it easy. How can you set yourself up for success? Want to work out but can’t stand the gym? Grab an online subscription and exercise at home. Put your workout clothes out the night before, so you can grab them and go.
We all have our own regular ‘excuses’ when things get challenging. Trying new things and adopting new habits starts with a positive mindset. Look to the future and come up with solutions to potential barriers. Do whatever you can to make things simple, automatic, and enjoyable. Our brains want us to be happy! But, they can sometimes stand in the way when trying to adopt new habits. When things are challenging, remember to stick with it – one little step at a time.