How to build healthy new habits for 2021
21 days. Some experts say that’s all it takes to form a new habit. So, as we hurtle towards the new year and you start thinking about your fitness goals for 2021, here are KBPT’s top tips for making them stick. Let’s say goodbye to the uncertainty of 2020 and give you something to strive for!
Write down your goals
You probably wouldn’t contemplate doing your job without having some goals or objectives in place, so why not do this for your health too?
Think about the big picture first, then focus on smaller goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based). Make sure they are challenging enough to keep you motivated but also achievable. So, you might say that you will:
‘Walk for an hour every day in January’
‘Do two extra workouts between my weekly KBPT sessions’
‘Sign up for a 28-day online yoga challenge’
You might find it helpful to use an achievement tracker app, such as tomo, which uses proven therapeutic techniques and an online community to help you build healthy habits into your daily life.
Stack your habits
Pairing your new healthy habits with other things you do regularly in one single routine should make it easier to stick to. This is called ‘habit stacking’ or ‘habit chaining’. For example, your morning plan for 2021 might look like this:
Wake up > put on gym gear > drink a glass of water > go for a walk/run while listening to favourite podcast > eat breakfast > clean teeth > start work
The key to forming a new habit is repetition. When we do things over and over, we use a different part of our brain and it soon becomes automatic. Check out James Clear’s book Atomic Habits if you want to find out more about habit stacking.
Get the right support
As well as holding yourself accountable for your new habits, it’s a good idea to get your support network on side. Tell your friends what you’re aiming for – maybe they could get involved too (early morning runs are much more fun when you’re with a mate!) or they could just send you a few encouraging high-five emojis.
Your KBPT personal trainer can also help by drawing up a training schedule and checking in regularly to ensure you’re crushing your goals. There are lots of apps you could use to track your progress too, like Map My Fitness and Strava.
When you reach your fitness goals, take a moment to acknowledge your achievements. If you’ve hit your burpee/plank/mountain climbers target, how about chilling out in front of the TV with a glass of wine? If you’ve gone from couch to 5k, maybe you could treat yourself to some new running shoes? When you change your life for the better, you deserve a reward. And then it’s time to set some new goals... :)
Contact Kate at KBPT at [email protected]
to find out how we can help you kick-start your 2021 fitness routine!