If you have ever succeeded in creating healthy new habits, you know how great it makes you feel. Especially since learning new routines always takes a bit of effort. A study showed that only 8 percent of New Year’s resolutions are kept!
Recently I’ve had two successes in this area: I started to meditate every morning, and finally quit biting my nails. Oh yes! I feel supergood after each meditation session – and every time I see my fingers… So, I’d like to share a few things that helped me and that will hopefully help you as well.
Check your motivation. It makes no sense to start changing something you don’t really want to do.
Proceed in small steps. Don’t try to change your life at one go. Pick one small thing you want to change, and change it. Maybe you decide to do yoga for 5 minutes each day at work, or maybe something else. But don’t move on to the next habit until you’ve established the previous one.
Set a schedule. Usually it takes about 3 weeks to create a habit, so keep it as a minimum. Longer time periods need to be divided into subperiods of, say, 4 weeks.
Jot it down on your calendar. Decide when you will practice the new routine, and mark it down on your calendar. Use calendar reminders so you won’t forget.
Make a big deal out of your project. The more people know about it, the less you’re likely to give up. Even better, make your friends join you. Zen Habits blogger Leo Babauta also suggests that you give you friend a reward if you succeed!
Reward yourself. Depending on the expected reward, your brain will decide whether the new routine is worth it or not. Think about what size of reward you need to start 10 minutes of yoga, what releases your endorphins – yoga itself, or a nice cup of latte afterwards? According to neurologists, rewards are essential if we want to learn new routines.
Do even a little. If you’re too busy for 10 minutes , do at least something – one minute, one stretch…Don’t skip the practice altogether.
Learn from your failures, don’t quit. Leo Babauta suggests we should think of creating a new habit as a learning process. If you skip a day or two, don’t think you have failed. Instead, be curious. What made you stumble? How could you adjust your behaviour for next time? And then, just continue wiser and determined!
Why take 10-minute yoga breaks?
- A short break at work boosts your energy level and keeps it high long into the day.
- It removes headaches and pain in the shoulder and neck area.
- It gives you better posture, which helps blood circulate in your brain, clearing your thoughts.
- Concentrating on breathing builds inner balance and awareness of the moment. You know what your day’s goals are and what you need to focus on right now.
- … Well, there’s much more, discover it yourself – YogaMe is glad to help you.