Two parameters that make building healthy habits easyier:
Build on an existing habit
It doesn’t work to replace habits you’d like to get rid of. There are neural pathways engrained in your brain that your system is used to using. Instead of wanting to get rid of a habit, it’s easier to access an already paved way and add the new habit at the end.
E.g. for bringing more awareness and presence to your life:
- Feeling your feet on the ground as you are brushing your teeth
- Making micro-movements to feel well in your spine as you are standing in the elevator
- Paying attention to your breathing for a moment while sitting on the train to work
60 seconds or less
Don’t overdo it.
At the beginning when you’re totally motivated you might want to be perfect and do as much as possible and all at once. But after a few hours, days, weeks, the initial bout of energy that got you started will wane.
Building a new habit is easier when you limit the time you invest in it to a minimum. 60 seconds may not sound like much, but it’s more than I see many people invest in self-care. And the one minute adds up.
E.g. to integrate an embodied practice into your morning routine:
- Drop on your heels for a minute as you wait for your breakfast egg to be ready.
- As you wait for your coffee to be ready, take 3 deep breaths into the sides of your ribs.
- Make small and enjoyable circles with your shoulders as you wait for the copy machine to finish.