You don’t need the 1st of January or the first day of the week or month to start building a new healthy habit. If there’s a change you’ve been itching to make, let this be a sign for you to do so, and here are a few little steps to help you along the way.


#1 Identify the Habit
Maybe it’s a sleeping routine, or eating more whole foods, eating better more nutritious meals, taking time to switch off from the digital world. Reflect on your life and identify the habit (or habits) that you know are going to benefit you.


#2: Make the Decision—and Commitment—to Change
Once you know what habit you’re trying to develop, it’s important to have the intention crystal clear in your mind. Make an active and honest commitment to undertaking this change, breaking old habits and replacing with new ones is difficult, there’s no doubt about that. Having the mental commitment to making that change is what can help you carry you through the tough moments of setting this new habit.


#3: Discover Your Triggers and Obstacles
You’ve identified the new habit and are determined on making it happen, but there’s still a niggling little barrier in the way. Whatever old habit you might be replacing will undoubtedly feel like an easy routine to fall back into, help yourself by figuring out what might come in your way to success. For example, if you’re trying to sleep earlier, reflect on your current night time routine to discover what tends to get in your way from falling asleep or going to bed earlier. Identify patterns in the habit you are currently trying to change to discover the micro-habits or triggers which initiate or instigate your current unhealthy habit, this self-reflection and self-awareness will be key for the next step.


#4: Have a Plan
Without a plan the idea of developing your new healthy habit can feel quite daunting. There are a few key things your plan should include to make you feel empowered and recognise that this new habit is in fact doable and achievable.


• Forge out what you want your daily routine to look like with the new habit, and compare it to your current experience.


• Break down this habit into smaller habits, its hard to sustain big habitual changes without substantial motivation which over time can feel draining. To counteract this, start with making smaller behavioural changes, as these keep getting embedded in your routine, you will continue to feel validated with each small habitual change, giving you a sustained amount of motivation throughout this journey of change.


• Consider which current habits in your routine would be adjacent to this new habit, e.g. if you want to meditate in the morning, use the time while you brush your teeth or make your coffee or tea as an opportunity to meditate for short periods of time before moving onto a bigger chunk of time.


#5: Enlist Support from Family and Friends
Having a support system around you can be great for when you’re feeling rather unmotivated, additionally, their support is particularly valuable when you find yourself slipping into old habits. Speaking to your supportive family and friends can help you gain more self-awareness of this habit and bring to light patterns you may not be aware of. Let your family and friends know what you’re trying to achieve and discuss how they could help you through this transition. It is especially important to involve them if you notice that there might be triggers which they could assist with.


#6: Find healthy ways to reward yourself.
Behavioural change takes a while to implement, help yourself and your motivation out by utilising some immediate rewards throughout your planned habitual change. For example, if you’re trying to develop a new fitness routine, watching Netflix while you’re on the treadmill, or meeting a friend for breakfast after your workout, or going for a walk with a loved one. While working on your plan for the new habit you’re trying to develop, think of ways you could reward yourself and this should keep you engaged with taking up this new habit all the way.