Each week, our team gets together virtually to meet, discuss clients, talk hormones, periodization, you name it.
As of late, on our weekly team calls Clare, Ashley, and myself have been talking about New Year's resolutions as we have entered into 2021. We have talked about types of resolutions, whether or not clients should set them, and how to keep resolutions realistic. One thing we continue to come back to is that in order for these resolutions to be successful they must be implemented into daily habits.
Working as nutrition coaches we work on habits with all of our clients and reflect on our own as well. Our habits make up how we tackle our day and ultimately those repeated actions will make or break our success. If you ever work with any of us I promise Atomic Habits by James Clear will be recommended to read!
When we think about our habits, it is important to realize we have both good and bad habits. When we want to make a habit change it is easier to add a positive habit than eliminating poor existing habits. When you decide it is time to set a new habit it is important that it is simple and easily implemented.
If you wanted to be healthier for the New Year you could start drinking more water and taking short walks instead of trying to drink over a gallon of water to start and running a few miles each day. You should start with a simple, easily implemented habit so you can easily add it to your daily routine and then continue to build. If you start out with an aggressive habit that you cannot sustain it will quickly lead to burn out. Make sure new habits feel easy in the beginning!
On January 4th, Coach Clare shared a post on Instagram, linked here, discussing how you need habits to build success. Clare talks about setting new goals and falling short because you likely did not put new habits in place that are required to achieve your goals. Be sure to check this out after you finish reading today!
When you decide it is time to implement a new habit(s) it is important to keep track of your progress and consistency. In practice, the excitement of starting a new habit can fade quicker than we like. To keep up with these little habits it is important to have a tracking system we look at everyday to help us push through when things are no longer as easy and exciting.
What benefits are there to tracking habits?
We often talk to clients about tracking habits and developing their own system. We get asked what are the benefits and what system should they follow. The benefits of tracking are simple but significant.
1. By tracking your habits and checking them off everyday you will get a sense of accomplishment every time you check them off. That daily sense of accomplishment will increase your motivation to keep them up and continue to want to check that box off.
2. When you are tracking your habits everyday you know exactly what you have done and what you have not. You will feel in control because you know exactly what you have accomplished, there is no guesswork.
3. You can work to realize bad habits and track those as well. By tracking bad habits you would like to limit or eliminate you can see how many times you are doing them on a daily basis. Seeing the number of times you are actually doing these actions can motivate you to break these habits.
4. You will make the connection that your habits shape your everyday. When you realize how powerful your habits are it will motivate you to continue working to establish them and keep up your practice.
5. By breaking down your big goals into smaller habits and tracking them everyday you are more likely to achieve your goals. You will increase your confidence and be in control of what you want to achieve.
How To Track Habits
There are a few different methods to track your habits each and every day. It is important to test out which system you work with best so you are encouraged to keep your habits in track.
1. Let Apps Help!! If you prefer to keep things on your phone vs pen and paper you can download a habit tracking app. These apps enable you to enter your own goals and send you reminder notifications to encourage you everyday. I have 3 habit tracking apps I love. The first is Streaks. Streaks lets you manage multiple habits at once. You can see all your habits on a minimal screen and track them without having to enter several different screens. You can also tell Siri you completed one of your habits for the day and it will track it in the app! My second app I recommend is Habitshare. Habitshare is great when you want to include a friend to help you stay accountable. You are able to share your habits and see your friends as well. You can work with each other to stay accountable and consistent! The final app I recommend is Tally. Tally lets you track as many habits as you would like and has some great features to keep you motivated. Tally even has options to go on your Apple Watch!
2. Go Old School! If you are like myself and prefer pen and paper and checking boxes off you can use a paper monthly habit tracker. These trackers will have a box for each day of the month and places for you to write in your habits so they are completely customizable to you! It is important that you recognize that even if a tracker has 8 or 10 lines you do not need to fill them all in. It is better to start with 2-4 habits and build from there! Remember, when you are just starting to build new habits and track them you want them to be simple. After hitting your simple habits time after time you can introduce some smaller more complex ones, but make sure you are hitting your simple tasks first! Be sure to set yourself up for success. See below for a free giveaway option.
3. Make it Different! If you don’t care to track on your phone or with pencil and paper you can use the jar method. You can use marbles, quarters, a small note, or any small object to account for every time you hit your habit that month! You simply place something in the jar once you accomplish your habit for the day and at the end of the month you can count how many times you accomplished it!
If you need any help building new habits in 2021 reach out to the Clar-e-ty team & check out a free tracker below!
As a bonus, Coach Emily created a FREE habit tracker for you to download and use to monitor and track your progress. Head on over here to get your download to save & print and get to crushing your goals.
Resources and Coaching:
Online Coaching here.
[Free] Nutrition Guide here.
Recipe & Macro Guide here.