By Alison Malawey
Change is hard.
When it comes to bettering yourself, getting started can be intimidating.
The sheer amount of resources out there to help you become a better version of yourself can be enough to dishearten someone into giving up before even getting started.
I just wanted to let you know that getting started is not as scary as it may seem.
Whatever the journey you’re looking to take, it can’t start unless you take the first step.
There are all sorts of resources out there suggesting what you should do to be healthier and how should do it, but the truth is, “healthier” is different from one person to the next.
It’s important to remind ourselves that our journey isn’t, and can’t be, the same as someone else’s.
The Shape Your Future Program is a resource provided by the state of Oklahoma to encourage people to live healthier lifestyles.
The program promotes a “Power of One” campaign to highlight how incorporating small, healthy habits into your daily routine adds up to a healthier lifestyle over time.
If you’re like me, you have a lot about yourself that you want to fix.
Nothing happens overnight. Pick a few things you can add to your daily routine that don’t change it all too much.
Instead of soda, drink some water. Add more vegetables to just one of your meals.
Park farther away from the building when running errands.
Your new habits don’t all have to be about physical improvement.
Try carrying a reusable water bottle or snacks from home to keep yourself from spending money on vending machines.
Instead of scrolling through Tik Tok or Instagram for hours, set aside 30 minutes of that time to read a book.
Try to avoid watching TV in bed. Turn off your devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
I have a limit set on my phone for Instagram, and when I’ve reached the allotted amount of time, my phone lets me know and closes the app.
After graduating, I would like to travel internationally. Recently, I’ve started practicing French for 15 minutes a day.
Language apps make it easy to practice languages. I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, but I find myself starting to think in French as well as English.
Have you ever heard the rule, “it takes 21 days to form a habit?”
Well, that’s a load of bull.
In a study performed by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, and published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Lally and her team found that it takes on average 66 days to form a habit.
Don’t be discouraged if your habit doesn’t become automatic right away. It can take anywhere from two to eight months for your new habit to really stick.
The study also found that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.”
In other words, it’s okay to fall of the wagon every now and then. If you forget one day, all your hard work is not lost.
The most important aspect is to not quit.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.