Connecting a new behavior to as many areas of the brain as possible helps to develop new neural pathways.
So it’s best to use all five senses to get the habit to stick. People are much more likely to make changes when new behaviors are associated with positive emotions.
So one way to develop a new habit is to make yourself laugh every time you do it. This also helps because our brains are wired to fixate on the negative. It’s another survival mechanism. But to help shift this mindset, focus on the positives of the new behavior for 10 to 20 seconds every time you do it. Be mindful of how it’s benefiting you and practice feeling gratitude towards yourself for improving.
Visualization is a strong sense to utilize. Picture yourself at your optimal health. What does this look like? What does it feel like? If you were to fast forward three to six months from now, what would be going really well? What would you be really proud about? What would your routine and habits look like? And write it all down since that accesses yet another part of the brain.
Anchoring can be a very powerful tool. It pairs new habits with things that religiously happen to make it stick more quickly. For example, to help with hydration, pair drinking water with specific actions in the day. Like drinking a whole glass of water right when you wake up in the morning or drinking one to two glasses before each meal or drinking a whole bottle of water right after a workout.
It’s also important to set up your environment for success. The more decisions you can take out of it, the more likely it is that you’ll accomplish it. Think about brushing your teeth. If your toothbrush and toothpaste were in a different location every night and morning or you had to make your toothpaste from scratch every time, it probably wouldn’t get done as often. A little planning goes a long way.
And lastly, make sure you set smart goals. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Comment below with some new habits you’re trying to adopt.