There are mixed ideas out there about how long it takes to build a new (good) habit. The consensus seems to be that it is at least 21 days, though according to further studies, it can take an average of 66 consecutive days of practice. 3 weeks doesn’t seem so challenging, but the idea of 9+ weeks of work before a task becomes natural may appear far more daunting. So we’ve compiled a list of habit hacks for you, so you can make your yoga practice into a yoga habit efficiently and effectively!
- Associate it with an already established routine, like brewing your morning tea/coffee, or brushing your teeth before bed.
- Use technology! Set yourself a phone alert to remind you every day.
- Try to schedule your day so that your yoga habit can occur right around the same time every day — this helps to set a rhythm and routine, which the human body naturally craves.
- If you can, also get a friend to set a reminder and check in with you to help keep you accountable. Perhaps going to meet the friend for the new habit might help too, like going to a yoga studio together.
- Use positive encouragement for doing the habit and do not berate yourself for failing to do it. Remember: if you wouldn’t say it to your grandma, don’t say it to yourself!
- Keep a paper month calendar and make a mark or put a fun sticker on the days you remember to do your habit. Leave it somewhere visible like the fridge door or bathroom mirror so you can check in with your progress every day – it’s like setting 3 or 4 reminders on your phone without all the annoying buzzing!
- Visualize what the long term benefit is of your new yoga habit becoming second nature. Maybe you are seeking serenity in your hectic modern life, or looking to improve your balance as your body begins to age. Spend some solid time thinking about what that will look like, and it will help motivate you every day.
- Recognize that there will be setbacks, and prepare yourself so you are ready to face them. Perhaps you or a loved one will catch a cold, or you go on a trip for the weekend and get out of your normal routine. Try to acknowledge these moments for what they are (and remember to practice self-care! If you’re sick and tired, focus on resting and seeing a doctor before you worry about your yoga habit) and then set your sights forward again and dive right back in before your progress towards habit-making has backslid!
- Perhaps most important of all is this: remember that true habits are done every day – don’t take weekends off if you can help it! Your body will thank you.