How To Build (and Keep) Good Habits That Last The Whole Year
January 9, 2021
by Amanda Etkind
We all know how the story goes once January 1st rolls around and we’re inundated with “new year, fresh start” mantras everywhere we look. So, like clockwork, we make our list of resolutions— taking our vitamins, saving money, and upping our skincare game—but a mere two weeks later, we abandon them and fall back into our previous habits from the year before. Maybe it’s lack of time, or starting from zero and attempting to reach your goal in the span of a week (spoiler alert: it takes baby steps and time). As humans, we’re creatures of habit, so naturally it can be hard to start and keep up with something that may be out of the norm to us. Rather than throw in the towel for yet another year, we’ve decided to help you out. We’re sharing our top tips and tricks for forming healthy habits that will last the whole year long — and hopefully a lifetime.
Create A Plan
Ever hear the saying failure to plan, is a plan to fail? This is especially true when it comes to building long-lasting habits. Before diving in (like Kim Kardashian when searching for her engagement ring in the vast blue waters), take the time to define your goals and habits you’d like to create. For example, if you’re interested in committing to a skincare routine, block off time in the mornings and evenings to take care of your skin. Just like those annoying 9 AM meetings, you’ll likely make the time if it's penciled into your planner.
Commit to at least 31 days
Why 31 days? Well, about a month is a solid amount of time since it’s easy to block that off in your cal. Plus, a lot (or a little) can happen in the span of a month, but if you want to form a good habit you’ll need to put in at least this amount of time to start. If you make it through this initial conditioning phase, chances are, you’ll likely be able to continue past the 31 days. If not, keep going for another 31 days, everyone is different, so don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a little longer.
Be Consistent, Not Perfect
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to adopting something new into your routine. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the mere repetition of a simple action causes it to become habitual. Basically, when you repeat the same habit over time the behavior becomes automatic. You brush your teeth on a daily basis, right? It’s likely second nature to you at this point, but surely when you were younger, it probably took some time to get used to doing it every single day. Eventually though, it stuck. When building these new habits, it’s best to do them every single day. Studies show that making an effort to insert them into your daily routine helps boost the probability that they’ll stick around (unlike most of our Tinder or Hinge dates). If you do it everyday like the above, you’ll likely end up doing it without questioning or thinking twice.
Like most things in life, if you try to go from zero to hundred in the span of a week you probably won’t get the results you’re after, and may give up sooner than you should. For example, maybe you want to improve your skin’s texture or keep bumps at bay. Rather than thinking about the end result like a glowing, smooth complexion, think about what smaller actions or habits you can pick up that will help you reach your goal. In this instance, incorporating an exfoliator into your daily skincare routine will help you achieve this goal, instead of doing a slew of masks and scrubs at once that would probably turn your skin angry. In case you’re actually looking to do this, we love our Texture Magic Exfoliating Toner that’s packed with a powerful, yet gentle blend of AHA/BHA/PHAs that sloughs off dead skin, minimizes the look of pores, and evens texture for a more radiant complexion over time.
Just like an alarm wakes you up in the morning or the timer goes off when you’re baking a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, setting an alarm or reminder on your phone when starting out can help you stick to it—especially when starting out. After the set amount of time, your body may start to remember to do that task at that specific time of the day automatically, or if not, keep the alarm as is to ensure you don’t forget.
Write Down Your Goals
This may seem weird but writing things down makes them feel more official. Think about it, you probably feel complete when you mark something off your to-do list or write in your daily journal. It can seem silly, but writing out your goals can help you digest them. It helps clarify what you’re actually looking to do and keeps you focused
Be Kind To Yourself and Bounce Back From Setbacks
Things happen, and that’s okay. If for some reason, something comes up and you missed your workout, or weren’t able to complete your full skincare routine, that’s okay! It’s just important to pick right back up where you left off. A study in the British of Journal of Practice found that occasionally forgetting to do a habit won’t totally throw you off course as long as you pick right back up the next day. Just keep in mind that the longer you go without performing these healthy habits, the harder it will be to keep up with your new habits.
Now that you’ve read our top tips and tricks, we hope you’re ready to glow into 2021 and achieve all the goals and habits on your list.