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  • Laren Rusin

How to Stick to Good Habits

Most of us have an idea of what's good for us: eat healthy, exercise regularly, get enough sleep... The challenge? How to enforce those good habits?

I see this regularly in my practice, both with physical therapy and nutrition. Things go well for about 2-3 weeks, then motivation lags, or life gets in the way.... A few tips on how to instill good habits, and make them stick:

1. Pairing: combine something you love (watching a Netflix series) with something you enjoy less-riding the exercise bike. Researchers call this "temptation bundling" so you associate good feelings with a less enjoyable activity.

2. Planning: you have the best intentions, but forget. Couple that plantar fascia massage with your tooth brushing time, so you always associate both. Or always take your vitamins when you're packing your lunch. Link a new activity to one you already do, without fail.

3. Fresh Starts: been meaning to start that home exercise program, or get back to following your elimination diet? Use tomorrow, or a Monday, or the following week, as a fresh start to your routine.

And so important: build small blips or failures into your schedule. One day missed of exercise, or indulging in endless chips and salsa, doesn't mean that the next day is without hope. Think of these days as "emergency reserves" not as barriers to success.

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