Is it just us, or do the changing seasons also inspire you to start (or re-start) new routines? There’s just something about Mother Nature shifting gears that makes us want to as well, especially as the lazy days of summer make way for the back-to-busy days of fall. But here’s the thing: consistent, healthy habits and daily routines are hard-earned. Because despite our best intentions, most lifestyle and diet changes don’t stick.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
In a 2020 study on New Year’s resolutions, researchers found that only 55% of responders considered themselves successful in implementing and — here’s the kicker — maintaining their resolutions one year later.
If you’ve ever poked around Menopause 101, you’ll understand why small, day-to-day tweaks, changes, habits, and routines are so important when it comes to managing symptoms. So to help set you up for success, we did some research and crowd-sourcing to pull together top tips and hacks to help those new routines stick into the fall season and beyond.
1. Follow this psychologist-recommended framework 📝
Psychologists define habits as “actions that are triggered automatically in response to contextual cues.” Here’s an example: you put on a seatbelt (action) every time you get into your car (contextual cue). In order to make a new healthy habit — or habits — this instinctual, try following this psychologist-recommended framework:
- Select a health goal and a simple action that will help you achieve said goal. Ideally, the action is something you’d do daily.
Example: I want to improve my sleep (health goal) by implementing an evening wind-down routine (simple action).
- Plan when and where you will complete this action. The more consistent, the better.
Example: At 9:30pm every night, I will brew myself a soothing cup of chamomile tea and journal.
- Every time you encounter the habit trigger (in this case, 9:30pm), complete the action.
Within 10 weeks, it should become instinctual, meaning you won’t even have to think about it!
2. Strategically pick habits that reinforce each other ↔️
When the to-do list is a mile long, the dog is barking, and work is hectic, it’s easy for self-care to fall by the wayside. We’ve been there, we get it. That’s why we recommend strategically selecting new habits that reinforce each other to make your life easier. For example, say your goal is to boost your energy levels. In that case, your two goals could be:
- Implementing an evening wind-down routine
- Prioritizing a morning exercise routine
The evening wind-down routine will help you get better quality sleep (and enough sleep) so you’ll have the energy to become more of a morning person and wake up for your early AM workout rather than waiting until later in the day/evening to exercise, which will raise your core body temperature at a time when it should be slowing down in preparation for sleep onset.
3. Keep yourself accountable with a friend/family member 👭🏽
Research shows that scheduling a specific time with another person to complete a health goal increases your chance of successfully achieving that goal by 95%. 95%!
That’s why we recommend finding someone in your life who can have your back and lovingly hold you accountable with regular check-ins. Bonus points if you can commit to the same health goals to tackle together.
4. … or an app 📱
If you’re flyin’ solo or simply prefer apps to help you keep track of important tasks and to-dos, you’re in luck: there are no shortage of options for both iPhone and Android users, including: Streaks, HabitNow, and Habitify.
5. Reward yourself! 💃
Get this: according to a 2018 study, receiving an immediate reward for a completed task increases the positive experience of that activity and gives us a satisfying boost of dopamine.
The reward can be material — like treating yourself to a cup of coffee from the corner café — but it doesn’t have to be. A 5-minute break to cuddle your dog totally counts, as does an impromptu living room dance party to your favorite 80s playlist. Affirmations are also on the table — we’ll be the first to tell you that we’ve looked at ourselves in the mirror and declared: I AM A BADASS.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (and again and again)…state of mind is incredibly important when it comes to well-being and mental health.
Any life-changing tips not mentioned here that have helped you stick with new routines? Let us know by sending us a DM at @elektrahealth on Instagram. And in the meantime, let’s keep holding each other accountable and, most importantly, showing ourselves grace when daily life gets in the way.
What Else We’re Reading
Women working in the medical field struggle with menopause at the peak of their careers — and yet no one’s talking about it. These Canadian researchers are trying to change that.
According to a new study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, a mix of both cardio AND strength training is the key to longevity.
The length of your menstrual cycle may actually provide clues about the severity of the symptoms you’ll experience during menopause and when they’ll start.
Wait, should we all be squatting more?
Hosted by a veteran hypnotherapist, Sleep Cove podcast is a free hypnosis and meditation podcast to help lull you to sleep — there’s also a corresponding YouTube channel with adult bedtime stories.
Keep Calm and Elektra On