The beginning of a new year presents an opportunity to create and work towards new life goals. As part of the process, individuals may want to develop and carry out new habits. Here are some tips to form and stick to them:

Develop an easy routine

  • Start small to help you get to where you want to be. For example, if you want to journal before you go to sleep, then in the beginning, you may start journaling for only five minutes. After a few weeks you can increase this activity to ten minutes and continually add more time until you get to your goal. Once a pattern develops over time, this behavior will begin to feel routine and part of your daily nighttime schedule.

Attach the new habit to an existing one

  • Latch your new habit to one that you have already established. As an illustration, you may want to do a gentle stretch before you start your day. Here you may opt to do this right after you have your morning cup of coffee and before getting dressed for work. The identified pattern does not change and happens frequently, which serves as a great way to cue or remind you of the new habit.

Set yourself up for success

  • Remove as many potential challenges and barriers to accomplishing your activity. If you want to start working out in the morning, lay out all of your clothes and pack your exercise equipment in your gym bag the night before. This removes the hurdle of gathering your workout gear and makes your life a bit easier since everything is ready to go.

As always, new habits take time to form and integrate into your daily routine. Be patient and kind with yourself with this process. Hopefully with these tips you can get yourself engaged in healthy habits that you want to start and maintain!

If you would like professional help in navigating the new year, give us a call at our offices in Cary, Apex, or Fuquay-Varina!

Janice Cuaresma

Mental Health Student Intern