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Forming New Habits: Change What Doesn't Work

Jan 17, 2020

If you keep doing the same thing expecting a different result... you will be very disappointed.

Whenever this topic comes up with my clients I always tell the hammer story...

If you come in asking for help with a bruise on your leg but every time you leave you keep banging your leg with a hammer.... well that bruise won't go away with anything you try.  YOU NEED TO REMOVE THE HAMMER!  Or I should clarify... You need to stop hitting yourself with that hammer!  

So we will talk a lot about new habits this year but today I wanted to share a few tips on what happens when you have tried something new.  Maybe this is you, maybe a friend or loved one.  I am guessing people are attempting some form of a New Year's Resolution this month.  

After you have created some simple habits to change in your life, you need to take a step back and look at the results so far. This is where you can decide if you will continue with this habit, or if it might be time to call it quits, or just modify parts of it. 

When a New Habit Doesn’t Work

To start with, every new habit you start is not going to be something you stick with forever. I know weird right! There are some that absolutely will and actually will probably change your life for the better. But just like other things you attempt in your life, they are not all going to be perfect from beginning to end.  (Do you think this might have something to do with how many people stop even attempting their New Year's Resolutions by the end of January? - Change is NOT easy!)

It is okay to take a step back, consider where you are, and whether or not your new habit is working for you. This doesn’t mean you chose a bad habit, but that it doesn’t work for you personally, for your schedule, your lifestyle, or where you are right now in your life. Remember that your priorities and goals can change as you go through life, and it’s okay for your habits to change along with them.  It's actually pretty important for them to change with you!

Did You Give it Enough Time?

Before you decide to ditch or change one of your new habits, give it enough time. The amount of time changes depending on the type of habit and your personal goals, but for the most part 30 days is a good amount of time. This is long enough where it has become something you did every day, and should have gotten to a point where you didn’t even have to think about it.

However, if you have been doing one habit for a couple of months, and you still don’t see any benefits from it, or it still feels like torture every time you get up to do it, then maybe it isn’t the right one for you.  (again, maybe it's not the right time or maybe it isn't the right part of the habit for you.)

Tracking Your Progress and Making Changes

This is why tracking your new habits is so important. You can actually see how long you have been doing it, if you have been consistent, and in what ways it is benefiting you. If you start a new job and put in the work, you expect to be paid for your efforts. The same can be said for when you work really hard on a new habit or goal, and it just doesn’t pay off in the end. You want to choose habits you can keep track of and that will have some type of benefit for you.  I mean otherwise why did you start the new habit anyway?

I recommend some sort of journal that you can use everyday to track your progress.  There are SO many different kinds of journals out there that have sections that you can keep track of this type of stuff or honestly, you could just get a blank notebook.  The way you do it doesn't really matter as much as just doing it.  

I would love to hear from you.  What new habits have you tried lately?  How is it going?  Is it a keeper?

If you are having some trouble setting some new habits in your life we would be glad to chat with you.  Set up a strategy call HERE

Have a Happy & Healthy Day,

Nicole Tatro


Physical Therapist & Wellness Specialist

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