As a busy mom, you can probably think of zillions of things that you would like to be doing better. How about eating healthier, reading more, drinking enough water, getting more sleep, exercising more, living on a budget, or getting organized?
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These are all healthy habits that most of us would like to make happen in our lives. But if you’re looking at that list and thinking “yes, I’d like to be doing ALL of that” you’re probably going to get overwhelmed fast.
Habit experts often tell us that we should pick ONE habit to focus on at a time. But if the habits are related, like exercise and weight loss, you can still be successful in making the new habits stick.
And that’s the point of trying to form a new habit after all, right, to make it stick?
So, how long does it actually take to form a new habit? You’ve probably heard that it only takes 21 days to form a new habit, right?
Well, current research says it actually takes at least two months (60 days) to make that habit stick. That’s right, it’s going to take you at least 60-Days to form a new habit.
You know what that means, don’t you? You have to really want to to do this because it’s going to take hard work, perseverance, and grace.
To make it easier for you, I’ve come up with some simple steps to make this process doable. Plus, I’ve created a FREE habit chart printable to track your progress. Continue reading to learn how to get the free printable.
5 Steps to Help Busy Moms Form a New Habit
Step One: Choose Your Habit
The first step in forming a habit is to determine what it is you’d like to accomplish. Do you want to exercise more? How about eat healthier? Drink more water?
Remember, you need to choose just ONE habit to focus on unless they are related, then you can choose two. As a busy mom, you already have a lot going on in your life so pick something that is realistic and won’t require a total overhaul of your current life.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” -Mark Twain
Step Two: Create SMART Goals
The second step in forming a new healthy habit is to make it a goal. By creating a goal, you are going to come up with a plan to make your habit a reality.
Have you heard of SMART goals? Smart goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
To get started on the path to forming your new habit, you need to first write out your goal by asking yourself these questions?
- Is it Specific?
- Is it Measurable?
- Is it Attainable?
- Is it realistic?
- Is it timely?
Here’s an example. Let’s say my goal is to drink more water. To make it a SMART goal, I would need to write it out to meet each of the SMART objectives. My goal should say something like “I want to drink 64 ounces of water a day. To do this, I will drink 20-22 ounces of water with each meal.”
Now it’s your turn, go ahead and turn your habit into a SMART goal by asking yourself the questions above.
Step Three: Designate a Trigger
A trigger is something that reminds you to do your habit. You will designate a trigger, like the alarm clock in the morning, to associate with the habit you are forming.
By putting a trigger in place, your response to this trigger will become automatic over time. This is how you’ll form your habit.
A trigger can be an event, a feeling, or even another habit. It can be something that you already do.
You want to keep it simple but it also needs to be consistent and happen at the same time each day.
For example, “when I get home after dropping the kids off at school (the trigger), I will immediately put on my yoga puts and start my workout.”
Think about something you can put in place right before you do the habit. What’s your trigger?
Step Four: Create a Visual Chart
A visual chart is a great way to remind yourself of the habit you are working towards. You can see my visual chart in the photo above. The visual chart has 4 elements:
- It lists the habit.
- It lists the benefits of creating the habit.
- It provides a way to mark off each day you do the habit.
- It allows you to list a reward for when you’ve done the habit for 60-days.
Visual cues are so important to keep you motivated. As you mark off each day, you can visualize yourself getting closer to achieving your goal of a new healthy habit.
Don’t forget to list a reward. You are working hard; you deserve to reward yourself!
Step Five: Use IFTTT
The fifth step in forming a habit is to create a recipe on IFTTT, a free web-based service that allows you to connect your favorite apps and devices. I use this app to send me a text message every morning at 5:00 a.m. to remind me of the benefit I will receive if I reach my goal.
For example, the text can say something like “When I complete 60-days of exercise, I will have more energy, I will feel healthier, and I will have lost weight.”
Receiving this simple text every morning has been a great motivator for me. You can also use it as a trigger by having it sent to you at a certain time each day.
And that’s it. If you follow these 5 simple steps, you will be well on your way to having a new healthy habit in 60 days.
Most importantly, please remember to give yourself grace during this process.
You are working hard and will probably have an off day or two (or more). That’s okay! Just pick up where you left off. Remember it’s the small steps that will lead you to the big result!
Here are some books to read if you’d like more information on forming habits:
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
- Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
- The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life
Don’t forget to download your FREE 60-Day Habit Tracking Chart printable below by CLICKING HERE.
I’d love to hear about your progress in forming your new habit. Just leave a comment in the comments section below.
With Love and Joy,