5 Ways to Make a New Habit Stick

It’s that time of year again when people reflect on their current physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, decide something needs to shift, and then “resolve” to do something differently in order to manifest this new thing.

Everywhere you look there’s an ad or an article trying to convince you of your shortcomings and they promise the solution, which usually entails buying their product or service.  This isn’t one of those articles.

I propose ditching resolutions, ditching the mindset that you’re “not enough” (a definite symptom of Feminine Shame) on some level, and begin to view yourself as an embodiment of the divine that’s in a constant rhythm of evolution and growth.

The ways we behave, feel, interact with others, view the world, etc. are nothing more than deeply ingrained habits that stem from our core wound. Period.

They are subconscious choices that dictate our lives and on a scientific level, they are familiar neural pathways in our brains. This may seem daunting, however, it’s supremely empowering because YOU have the power to choose differently and literally rewire your life.

here are five ways to make your new habit(s) stick:

Identify How You Want to Feel

Congratulations! You’ve identified something that’s not working and know there’s a new and different way you’d rather operate in the world. Great. Now, take it a step further by getting very clear on how you want to feel. If weight loss is a goal and improving your food choices and increasing movement that delights you are the new desired habits, how is it that you’re truly wanting to feel by doing so? Are you seeking more confidence or more energy? Are you seeking to deepen your feelings of ease in your own body? Are you seeking to feel more mindful?

Get clear on the feeling and sit with it. Notice where it lands in your physical body, as well as any sensations, thoughts, images, words, etc. that may present themselves. THIS is where you’re actually most desiring to go and the goal of weight loss through the new habits of better food intake and more movement are the vehicles to get you to this feeling. As an added bonus, notice when and where else in your life you feel this feeling, too.

Identify Your “Why”

This step is similar to the first, however, this “why” you’ll identify will serve as a mental mantra for when things become difficult. As with learning anything new, expect to take a two steps forward and three steps back at times. You’re a human adopting a brand new habit, after all. By clearly identifying your “why,” as in why you want this new habit in your life or why you wish to achieve this goal, you’ll have a way of picking yourself back up more easily during the tough times. Write down your “why” and post it in various places around your home, office, wallet, etc. to serve as reminders and support.

Identify Possible Barriers & Alternative Approaches

As stated, you’re a human adopting a new habit and you’ve most likely rolled with your old habits for quite some time, therefore your current lifestyle is set up to accommodate them. Now that you’re adopting new things, it’s time to ditch some of the enabling factors. Keeping with the weight loss goal and improving nutrition, perhaps you’ve developed a habit of always having candy or ice cream in the house and mindlessly eating it in front of the television. 

These actions won’t serve where you’re now headed. Take some time to identify possible barriers to your newly budding habit and be vigilant for ones as they reveal themselves to you consciously after running the show incognito for who knows how long! An alternative approach to the given example could be to now have pre-cut fruits and vegetables in the fridge that you enjoy from a plate mindfully rather than while tuned out in front of the television. Again, this is all new and you’re getting to consciously choose and rewire your life! So exciting!

Practice New Habit Intentionally & Mindfully

The only way to ingrain this new habit into your life is to simply do it. Practice this new habit every single day, all day, intentionally, and mindfully. Exercise your amazing discipline as an act of self-love, keep your “why” handy, continue to return to the feeling you desire and notice when and where else it shows up, and continue crafting alternative ways of conducting your life as your brain loses interest in the old habits in favor of the new, empowered ones! Remember that self-compassion and self-forgiveness are crucial and to celebrate all your wins!

Change Your Energy

Creating a new habit is hard. You’re most likely working against a lifetime of programs that support the old habit. Working with your energy is crucial in rewiring the old. Learning how to work with your energy, while also supporting your nervous system can set you up for success.

Additionally, embodiment practices, meditation, journaling, and other resources like ones found in my medicine bag can always help you to get in touch with the desired feeling more deeply so the body can recognize and integrate it.

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Greetings! I’m Devon Ray Battaglia, MS, AHA, ACC. As an Integrative Health Expert, Ayurvedic Health Advisor, and Holistic Life Coach, I’ve devoted myself to living and sharing the timeless wisdom of Nature’s rhythms to unlock our natural resilience and joy!

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