How to Develop Guud Habits
A new year always comes full of good intentions. Whether it’s big plans, new goals or a classic resolution, building new habits can be a real challenge. Good intentions are one thing, but actually maintaining a new habit and building it into your daily routine is another. It is often easier said than done.
Did you know that January 16 is Blue Monday? It is globally recognised as the most depressing day of the year. The days are still dark and cold, and most resolutions have already ended up in the bin.
So how can you ensure that your good intentions become new habits that actually stick around past January? In this post, we’ll tell you.
New habits start with small, lasting actions. Repetition is key. It is better to change something small every day versus making huge changes to everything at once. Taking on too much is a sure way to fail. Set small, achievable goals and stay consistent. If you ask too much of your mind and body, you’re bound to be one of those people struggling when Blue Monday rolls around.
Don’t rush. Whatever new habit you’ve decided to do, the goal is to help make your life better and more enjoyable. Take your time. Preparation is key. Remember: the best habit is the one you can stick to.
At Guud Woman, we like to spend one month planning new habits. This way you go through all the phases of your cycle and know exactly how you feel every day of the month with your new habits. This is important because sometimes you’re full of optimism and action and other times, you might be low and unmotivated. It’s OK! Being aware of these changes will be key to sticking to your new habits.
How Chinook Changed Her Life
Our Guud Ambassador Chinook discovered the life-changing power of new habits for herself.. Chinook was at a point in her life where she wanted to live more consciously and become the best version of herself. She was working on her inner self, and looking for ways to optimize it.
She tackled it thoroughly: she started exercising, eating consciously, stopping her hormonal contraception (read how to do it properly here), started tracking her cycle, discovered how her hormones worked, and discovered our supplements to complement her diet.
“I can now say that I have come to a point where I am happy. There is a lot of awareness in my life and I feel I am becoming the best version of myself.”
Do you want to change your life just like Chinook? Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Think About What You Want to Change and How it Would Make You Feel
Your period (the winter) is a good time to reflect. Take a few evenings to think quietly about the most important parts of your life. Your hobbies, relationships, future plans, work and more.
- How do you feel in each area of your life?
- How would you like to feel?
- What are you satisfied with? What could use some improvement?
- Do you want to work towards something this year? What do you need to be successful in that goal?
- And which parts of your life would you like to change based on your reflections?
Note: The menstrual phase is purely intuitive and based on your feelings. During this phase, try not to think about the practical part of your new habits. That comes next.
Step 2: Connect Your Dreams to Actions
The follicular phase (spring) is the best time to link actions and goals to the areas of your life that you want to change. During this phase you often feel energetic and positive, so this is a good time to think about how you will carry out your plans. It's about the "how" and planning the details.
Why is this step important?
Research shows that clear plans help you develop good habits. Don't say "I want to live healthier.” That is too vague. Instead, make it as specific as possible. For example:
- I'm going to eat two vegetables every day during my lunch, which I will prepare the night before.
- I want to prepare my body for pregnancy, so I am going to track my cycle every day and take supplements with my breakfast.
Answer the "who, what, where, when, and why" questions of your new good habit.
Step 3: Tell Everyone
In the days around your ovulation (summer), you are communicative and social. This is the time to share your new habit with your environment (your partner, your colleagues, your friends, your employer). Sharing your goals is important because you feel more supported this way, and the social pressure can help you keep going sometimes. It creates a sense of accountability which is scientifically proven to help improve your likelihood to stick to a new habit.
Step 4: Get Started!
The luteal phase (autumn) is the time to take action. The after-effects of summer give you enough energy to look at your goals optimistically. And if you start before your period, you'll have built enough of a starting point to help prevent you from falling back on old habits when your period starts again.
Six Extra Tips to Really Persevere
1. Have patience. Sometimes it takes a while before you see results. For example, did you know that your eggs take about three months to form? Everything you do today will affect your menstrual health in three months' time. If you decide to make lifestyle changes to reduce your menstrual symptoms, give it three months before you start to draw any conclusions.
2. Recognize your excuses and don't let them guide you. Pay attention if you hear yourself saying things like:
- It’s too hard
- It's not convenient
- I don’t have time
- It's not much use anyway
- I'm dreading it
- I'll do it later
- I don't feel so good
- I’d rather do something more fun
Recognize these phrases for what they are: excuses.
3. Practice habit linking. One way to help drive success is to link your good habit to an existing habit or perform it at a fixed time. For example: every day after brushing my teeth I repeat ten affirmations in my head. You already brush your teeth as a regular habit, so when you add one onto an existing habit, it’s far more likely to stick in the long term.
4. Don’t wait. Skipping a habit once can happen. But recognise if you start skipping the habit multiple times in a row. Stick to your new habit and don't be tempted into a new (old) routine.
5. Find distraction. Do you want to stop smoking, biting your nails, shopping too much, snacking or thinking negatively? Find distractions and make it more difficult for yourself to fall back on your old habits. Go for a walk, visit the museum, a theater show, visit family and friends or start a new hobby. Keep yourself busy for as long as you think you need to.
6. Keep it fun. Research shows that it's easier to keep up if your new habits are fun. Don't like vegetables? Then put them in a smoothie. Eating doesn't have to be a punishment, so keep it fun too. Not a fan of traditional exercise? Consider joining a sports team or walking group. Or, only listen to your favorite podcast while exercising. When you enjoy something, it doesn’t feel like work and suddenly your new habit will feel like a normal part of your routine.
We want you to be the best version of yourself this year. Do you have questions, doubts or comments? Chat with us, that's what we're here for!