The Science of Healthy Habits
Humans are creatures of habit, following similar rhythms each day. But changing our rhythms towards health can be difficult! Here are strategies, backed by research, for forming new healthy habits:
Stack Your Habits
Look for patterns in your day and connect new habits with existing ones. For example, while you brush your teeth, you might stand on one foot to practice your balance. Or every day when you get back to your residence after class, start with a healthy snack and mindful moment before you succumb to your work or couch.
Big behavior changes require high motivation that is difficult to sustain. Instead, consider tiny changes to make the new habit as easy as possible.
Do it Every Day
Habits take a long time to create but they form faster when we do them more often. You’re more likely to stick with a habit if you do a small version of it every day rather than big, deep versions of it a few times a week.
Make it Easy
Set yourself up for success by removing friction to your success, or adding friction to the habits you want to avoid. Sleep in your workout clothes to make it easier to wake up and move. Choose a mini-habit that requires minimal equipment. Make the healthy choice the easy choice!
Make it Fun
Try adding habits with fun built in – listen to a good audiobook or podcast while doing your new habit. Do your new activity with someone you adore. Create reward systems that will motivate you.
For more habit-changing advice, check out the Learning Center’s website.