I set one goal this year. One new habit for 2024 that I know will create a trickle into other pieces of my life. A habit that is a little bit of a stretch, but not so crazy that I’ll give up.
This is big for me.
For some of you, that might sound like a piece of cake. If you’re a mom with littles, you might be wishing you HAD two hours a week to watch TV. We’re all in different stages.
But it’s big for me.
I was finding myself using TV as a way to detach from my reality. To numb. To decompress at the end of the day.
I’d watch a show during my lunch break, then really want to see the next episode so I’d start a second, and suddenly it would be the late afternoon and I hadn’t gotten my work done.
Or I’d wake up on the weekends only to plop down in front of the TV to watch one episode of Dateline, which would turn into two, then three, and suddenly it was the afternoon and Brian and I still hadn’t done anything with our day.
I know letting yourself have times of relaxation and chill is important, but it felt like it was getting out of control.
So I set a goal for myself that I would minimize my TV time, creating new habits in its place, and so far, so good!
Through my own coaching programs, research, and reading I’ve done on habits, there are four key things you need in order to make a new routine become a habit this year.
If you are knee deep in white knuckling a new habit or relying on will power, give these shifts a try. I truly believe in them and research has shown that they are much more powerful than trying to discipline your way into a new habit.
I want 2024 to be the year you feel like you successfully implemented the habit you’ve been striving for for years!
Sometimes we need a little motivation to implement a new routine because our desire for the outcome doesn’t always outweigh your current desire. So gussy up the habit. Make it as appealing as possible.
Want to walk for 30 minutes a day? Get a new pair of walking shoes and a jacket you feel good in. Want to eat more greens? Snag a new set of cute glass containers to store them in that make your fridge look insta worthy.
For me, I’m trying to cut something out, which means I have to make something that will be in it’s place more attractive. I grabbed a new book I’ve been dying to read, set up candles in my reading area, and also laid out my sauna blanket nearby so I can have this new routine in a super cozy spot.
(Side note… I’m obsessed with my new Higher Dose Sauna Blanket. It’s an investment, but the detoxifying benefits are incredible and Brian and I swear it makes our sleep incredible! Not sponsored in any way, just love it!)
Do what you can to make your new habit as attractive and enticing as possible.
Harsh truth, humans are lazy. We focus on what’s around us and forget about things we can’t see.
But this laziness can work to our advantage. Change your surroundings so that the habit you want to implement has everything you need and is in front of your face each day, and/or the habit you want to get rid of is tucked away and out of mind.
Example- If you want to read more, put your book in a cozy, main living area that you see throughout the day. If you have a habit of choosing to watch TV instead of reading, you can unplug your TV after each time you use it, making it less desirable to choose that instead of your book. (How annoying to have to plug your TV in each time you want to use it, waiting for it to reboot!) Or you could go big and move your TV to a room you aren’t frequently in.
If you are wanting to eat less processed foods and incorporate more vegetables, focus on washing and chopping the fruits and vegetables you want to eat throughout the week, and store them in your new, cute glass containers so they call you to use them during the week. Also, stop having processed foods in the house, throwing away the ones you have and not purchasing any more. If your family “needs” the processed foods, have them store them in a place that is way up high and behind other foods in the pantry, or somewhere you can’t see very easily in the fridge.
Basically, place the objects that will encourage your new habit in front of you throughout the day and get rid of or hide the objects that keep you from reaching your goals.
One of the very best ways to start something new is to connect it to a habit/routine you already have.
If your goal is to exercise 3x a week but you are struggling to find time, connect it to something you already have in your schedule. Maybe you go for a walk during your weekly virtual conference call or you get a walking treadmill you can use at your desk while you wfh. Or start scheduling a workout class near your kid’s daycare so you can get that in right before picking them up/after dropping them off.
Focusing on staying hydrated this year? While you are prepping your morning coffee (after your breakfast, of course), get in the habit of filling up your water jug for the day. Wanting to eat healthy food? Sunday evenings after dinner, have your family wash dishes while you throw a soup for the week in the slow cooker.
Since my habit is all about taking something out of my routine, I’ve had to connect something I’m filling that void with to my typical routine. TV was hardest for me to get over during my lunch time. My TV habit was connected to lunch. Instead, now I have connected a new audible book to my lunch time routine, listening to it during lunch, keeping me from sliding back into my TV routine. I’m much less tempted to extend my lunchtime because of my audio book, which is helping my productivity as well.
The chances of you starting to smoke cigarettes is astronomically higher if the people around you smoke. Have friends that are fit? Most likely, you’ll follow suit. Your significant other loves chess? Your chances of becoming proficient at it are pretty high. We are creatures that like to feel connected, and doing things that our loved ones do is a big piece of that.
If you want to make a change, find people that either already do what you desire, or people that are implementing it themselves.
Again, let’s focus on exercising. Gyms can create incredible communities and foster connection. Find a gym or personal trainer that will keep you wanting to come back for the connection (with a nice serotonin boost!). Better yet, find a loved one that wants to attend the same gym as you and touch-base with each other on when you are going!
Interested in healthier eating? Join a cooking community online or start a cooking club with people you love, cooking together 1x a month. Or hire someone that will hold you accountable (hi, it’s me, Kelsey, your favorite health coach ready to serve! Schedule here ;)).
In my case, I don’t particularly have a community that I’m sitting around not watching TV with. However, I’ve let my husband know that it is my goal and he’s making adjustments in his own routine to support me. I am also on the lookout for a bookclub to join which will motivate me to read more often, leaving less room for TV watching, and I have started looking into networking groups for my business that meet in the evenings, something I would have NEVER done before because I would want to be home on the couch watching TV instead.
Community matters. How could you use community to improve your chances of sticking with your new habit?
That’s it! Try implementing one or two of these strategies in 2024 and see how much more consistent you can be with your new habit!
And if you are someone that needs a little support and accountability to reach your new heath and wellness habits, you know I’ve got you.
My 1:! coaching program is up and going again after a brief hiatus in 2023. I’d love to connect and see if my program works with your goals. Just schedule a complimentary health consultation using by clicking here!
Good luck slaying your new habit in 2024!