Disclosure: This post is sponsored by OMRON. All opinions are my own.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been participating in the OMRON 90-Day Challenge to create healthy heart habits. As I’ve progressed from week to week, I’ve discovered one thing: developing new habits is hard. However, I’ve pushed through the highs and lows and learned five important lessons along the way.
Creating New Habits Requires Willpower
When creating a new habit, you must have the willpower to achieve the change you seek. This statement sounds simple, but it’s not as easy in practice. Some days, I wake up motivated and excited to achieve my goals, but if I don’t act on that feeling immediately, my willpower can be diminished by the pressures of the day. When I don’t feel like working out or taking my blood pressure feels like too much of a chore, I have to dig deep inside and muster the willpower to keep my promises to myself. Each day, I have to train my willpower to get stronger. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Document Your Progress
During this 90-day period, I decided to document my progress. When I take my blood pressure with the OMRON Complete device, I immediately record my numbers in my journal. Doing this not only keeps me accountable, but it also shows my daily progress. I also write down my daily steps and activity levels. Some days I’m at 2,500 steps, other days I surpass 12,000. Either way, I have a record of how I’m doing and it motivates me to keep improving.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
I have to admit that I can be somewhat of a perfectionist. If I fail to meet my goals, I’m prone to beat myself up. Negative self-talk creeps into my mind and I get discouraged. During this 90-day challenge, I’ve fallen short many times. But instead of beating myself up, I’ve decided to do better the next day. For example, if I spend all day sitting at my desk working without doing any exercise, I’ll decide to take a short walk around the block to add some movement to my day. If I forget to measure my blood pressure in the morning, I add a reminder to my phone to make sure I do it in the evening. Everyone relapses to old habits in times of stress (and the COVID-19 pandemic is definitely a stressful situation), but the key to not ditching your new habits completely is the belief that you can stick to them.
Celebrate Small Successes
To prevent myself from focusing on my failures, I celebrate my small successes. Whether it’s having a cup of green tea instead of a glass of wine or going a whole week without forgetting to take my blood pressure, I celebrate these small successes because they motivate me to keep going and make the changes I want for my life.
Habit-building is Contagious
Habits are contagious and just changing a few key ones, like measuring my blood pressure daily has led to more positive changes in my life. Now I’m inclined to grab a handful of cherry tomatoes to snack on instead of the bag of chips. I’m starting to look at all of my lifestyle choices through the lens of improving my heart health and the results have been positive.
I’d love to hear your experience with creating new habits. Please share your thoughts on my social media channels.