Habit tracker

Top 6 Tips to Make a New Habit Stick

So you’ve decided to grab yourself a stack of Prepped Pots with the idea of eating a little healthier, form new (and let’s face it, tasty AF) lunchtime habits and save yourself a load of time and cash in the process.

That.  Is.  Awesome - we are all for it!

Here the Godfather of habit culture, James Clear of Atomic Habit fame talks about the massive impact making small changes can have and why habits are the key to productivity and success.

But, habits can be strange little things, can’t they?  For some reason, forming “bad” habits seems to be super easy, and quite often we fall into these without even realising we’re establishing them. 

Falling asleep to the TV each night, wasting your lunch hour down a TikTok rabbit hole, drinking your 6th cup of coffee at 4pm just to get through the last hour or two of work (only to question why you can’t get to sleep later)… We all have our little foibles.

When it comes it “good” ones, though, different ball game entirely.  As soon as we set our minds to forming a new habit – drink more water than coffee, for instance – it can often feel like a mammoth task.

Forming bad habits is like playing dodgeball with cotton wool balls.   Building good ones is a bit more like playing dodgeball while someone throws a wrench at your head; “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

That said, we’re a generation constantly striving for an ideal work-life balance with personal and professional aspirations driving us, and good habits are vital in this pursuit.  

Whether you’d like to form better nutritional, sleep or hydration habits, or whatever your elixir may be, these tips and tricks will help you make a new custom stick so you can go forth and slay life…

Did You Know…

​​​​​Habit formation can take an average of 59 to 70 days. According to a 2021 study, it can take about 59 days until a new habit becomes automatic. Further stating that implementing routine-based and time-based cues help to increase the chances of habit formation.

Routine vs. habit – what’s the difference?

Before we get into the best way to make that new habit stick, first let's clear something up - what's the difference between a habit and a routine?

Well... habits and routines are sometimes the same; however, routines are usually associated with repetitive times, while habits are related to specific behaviours.

Your bedtime routine, for example, may include habits like brushing your teeth, but it’s specific to the “before bed” time of day.

Set a Clear Goal

OK, now all that's cleared up, let's get down to business...

Before you embark on any habit-forming journey, ask yourself, "what do I want to achieve?"

Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, and attainable. For example, instead of saying "I want to be healthier," set a clear goal like "I want to lose 5 pounds in two months,” or “I want to drink 3l of water per day.”

Having a clear goal in mind will help you determine what habit to form, why you want to form it AND make it easier to attain.

Plan and Track Progress

Once you have a clear goal, make a plan to achieve it. Break down your goal into manageable tasks and assign deadlines to each

Looking to increase water intake to 3l?  Aim for 2l each day for a minimum of 5 days in the week first.  Then increase it week on week until you consistently hit your goal.

Upping your daily step count to 15K?  Same principal – set a target for a week of a minimum of 10K steps per day, and when you are able to achieve it, increase your step count to 12.5k etc, until you smash it on the reg.

And don’t forget to use a planner or a habit tracker app to keep track of your progress. Seeing your progress in real-time can be a powerful motivator to keep going. Remember, forming a new habit takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent.

Tracker journal
Source: ​​Jess Bailey

Start Small

Trying to form a new habit can be a daunting task, but starting with small steps can make it more manageable. 

For example, if your goal is to start exercising regularly, start with a 10-minute workout session each day, then gradually increase the time and intensity.

Starting small builds momentum and helps you avoid burnout (we don’t want burnout – nope, nope, nope).

Remove Temptations

It's important to identify and remove any obstacles that could stop your habit-forming process. 

So, say you're trying to cut down on social media usage, remove the apps from your phone, limit your screen time or move them away from your home screen so they're harder to find and you'll be less likely to click mindlessly on them.

Removing temptations makes it easier for that habit to stick long term, and that's the aim - right?

Once you feel you're well in the swing on things, feel free to reintroduce the apps etc. but do so with the knowledge that bad habits tend to have the sneaky way of creeping back up on you, so be vigilant!

Find Your Cheer Squad

Surrounding yourself with supportive people who encourage you to stick to your new habit can be a game-changer. Having someone keep you accountable can provide you with the motivation and inspiration you need to stay on track.

They can also give you a kick up the rear if you’re slacking.  Find someone you trust and share your goals with them – you might be able to help them out with a new habit in return!

Reward Yourself

Yaasss Queens and Kings - slay!  You're killing it so remember to celebrate your progress and reward yourself along the way. 

Taking time to acknowledge your achievements builds positive momentum and helps you stay motivated. 

It could be something as simple as treating yourself to your favourite coffee, buying a new book or grabbing a glass of bubbly or treating yourself to that slice of cake you've been dreaming about for the past 3 weeks...

Final Thoughts...

Forming a new habit takes time, effort, and commitment. By starting small, identifying your obstacles, surrounding yourself with support, and rewarding yourself along the way, you'll be well on your way to making your new habit stick.

Most importantly, keep your eye on the prize, stay focused on your goal and with these tips and tricks in your corner your new habit will stick just like a tennis ball to a Velcro paddle (nostalgic 90s ref for you there…)

Ashleigh Tosh

Ashleigh Tosh

Ashleigh - writer by day, reader by night, self-professed foodie at all times... A former broadcast journalist, she's been writing for the health & wellness industry for over 10 years and is passionate about all things food & fitness. When she's not clickety-clacking on the keyboard, you can find her in the gym, in the kitchen or up a Munro.


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