As the seasons change, our daily routines change too—particularly our well-being habits. And as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, now is a great time to establish a few basic self-care habits, also known as anchor habits.
Anchor habits are small, core routines that are ingrained within us like getting up each day or cleaning your teeth. Research suggests that the best way to create new habits is by anchoring them to existing behaviour. By adding a new behaviour to the beginning or end of an existing routine, you will have a much better chance at following through.
So, take a common daily habit—brushing your teeth. If you are looking to start working out more, you might begin by doing ten jumping jacks right after brushing each morning. Once that feels ingrained in your routine, you might do ten jumping jacks followed by five push ups, and so on.
Once you have an anchor habit, it is easier to continue adding to your routine and achieving more. With anchor habits, consistency is more important than quality or quantity. The key is to always do something.
Consistency is a key component of strong wellness habits. By sticking to small, incremental changes, you will set yourself up for success—allowing a natural progression toward bigger goals.
Here are some ideas for a daily anchor habit:
- Drink a glass of water in the morning
- Meditate for five minutes
- Get outside, even for a few minutes
- Stretch for one minute
- Go on a walk
- Say a positive affirmation
- Create a to-do list with two or three important tasks to accomplish
- Make a mental list of 3 things you are grateful for.
**Adapted from Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare