September 15, 2022

How to Form a New Habit

How to Form a New Habit
Olivia Tiessen, Richelle Aikins and Dr. Brandon Hauer
Time Read
3
min

No two days are the same, each day is filled with different opportunities and challenges. This brings excitement to our lives but can sometimes make it challenging to build, and maintain, healthy routines. This is especially hard for those trying to balance personal goals, work, and family life during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many find the struggle of sticking to routines outweighs the reward of sticking to them.

At the start of this year, you may have made a list of 2022 goals; things you want to change in your daily routine to improve your wellbeing. If these are going great, then congratulations! If not, don’t worry there’s still plenty of time left in 2022.

Try 1 minute a day.

Pick one thing on that list and try doing it every day no matter what for 1 minute. Something so easy that when life gets busy you can still do it. Sociologist Christine Carter shares this process as the “Better than nothing habit”. Building a habit that is not built on motivation or having a lot of energy but willing to try something ridiculously easy every day. Doing something for 1 minute every day is achievable and easier to adopt, building motivation for long-term results. The goal here is repetition, not a high achievement. Initiating a behaviour is often the hardest part, but by getting started with only 1 minute of the activity, we are starting to build that habit. Once we have started to do this simple, quick behaviour even just a few times, we can repeat it easily which leads to us repeating on autopilot, even on our bad days.

Growth strives in the succession of small wins. Grand ambitious goals exert tremendous pressure.

“The big audacious goals are essential to motivation but they are too blunt to provide daily guidance or satisfaction” according to the Harvard Business Review. When individuals are faced with this pressure they get overwhelmed and will back out. Big goals often have unclear steps, making them difficult to action and too demanding to integrate into our busy lifestyles. Often when we decide on a goal we are motivated at the start giving us a little boost. Let’s say I wanted to run a 10k. After deciding this is my goal, maybe I would run 5k every morning for a week. However, it take can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit, this initial boost of motivation will not last that long thus this is only sustainable until I hit my first unmotivated day or when life gets in the way. Rather, I should start by running 1 minute a day building a solid habit that I can do every day without thinking. This will allow me to build over time, persevering past the initial motivation boost.

Building your 1 Minute REST Routine

We understand that it is often hard to find just 9 minutes to get a REST session in before bed, despite all the benefits we feel during and after using REST. With every day changing, life may always get in the way and there may never be a perfect time every day to do a 12-minute session. So starting today try one minute. Even if you are having a crazy busy day, using REST for 1 minute is so ridiculously easy that it can fit into every day.

Here are a few easy steps to get your REST routine started:

  1. Pick a time of the day to commit to getting just 1 minute of REST.
  2. Go into the Umay app (bottom right person icon) and turn on a notification at this time (choose Usage Reminder – 1 day and your preferred time).
  3. Choose the extended RISE setting (90 seconds of warm to cool) every day for at least 1 minute at your selected time.
  4. Track your progress through the Umay app – aim for 1 week of 1 minute sessions. When you get there – let us know how this habit worked (hello@umay.care).

It’s this easy to form a new habit, to help prioritize a healthier you, as the first step on your journey to a more balanced life. We get it, it isn’t easy to change your routines that you’ve built up for years, but we hope that by using this technique taking one minute for yourself will come as second nature. Over time you can build on this one minute, but this week focus on one minute of one day at a time.

Resources:

https://www.trendhunter.com/keynote/christine-carter

https://hbr.org/2010/06/hey-boss-enough-with-the-big-h

https://medium.com/curious/one-minute-secret-adds-one-minute-each-day-in-forming-a-new-habit-5b18aab06418

https://www.habitify.me/blog/mini-habit-trick-that-can-transform-your-life