Explore how building habits can support your personal wellness goals and yoga practice.
Your life is the becoming of your habits. Our habits find pockets of space in our daily routines and those same routines we sink into, become our lives. Habits will look different for everyone and can be something picked up from within your environment or created independently over time. Some habits will enrich our lives and create a deep sense of stability while others may be repeating patterns that keep us stagnant or limit our ability to grow.
What is a habit?
A habit is something you repeatedly do or are in the regular practice of doing.
Do you make a cup of coffee every morning? Do you feel anxiety about diving into your email inbox and spend time on social media before getting to it? Do you unplug the toaster after each use? Habits are made of repeated actions, possibly like those posed above.
Finding Your Lifestyle
Read that again. If the small, practiced habits become your life, what do those habits look like for you? While that may seem like a big question to start, by giving yourself the space to identify the big picture, the macro, we can tailor those macro ideas into micro moments. How do you want to wake up in the morning? What daily practices will help you to feel grounded and happy? How do you want to wind down in the evening? Building habits begins with this self-inquiry.
Make a list.
The list can start out as long as you want. And if you’re feeling stumped or feel stuck, explore the free writing technique first. This can look like writing “I don’t know what to write” until your thoughts start making it down to paper. When this happens, pour it all onto the paper to start. Write out any small or big thing you want to bring in or magnify in your life.
Once you have your list, read it over, change anything you want to change, and then tailor your list into reasonable and actionable practices that you can bring into your life.
Now, Let’s Start Building Habits!
Breaking habits can be hard. Building habits can feel hard too. If we break down how to build up to new habits, it can make it feel a little easier. This is the step where we want to pick one or two micro habits that are accessible and can be easily integrated into life as you currently know it.
For example, if you are looking to create a morning routine that looks like waking up, brewing coffee, and taking 15 minutes to stretch or practice yoga, look first and what you already do. If you happen to already wake up and brew coffee, piggy-back that habit with designated time to roll out your mat and move through a quick stretch. This technique of “piggy-backing” can be a great way to build on the foundation of an existing habit.
Once you’ve brewed your coffee, you can easily browse for a class to support your new habit. Try classes that are up to 15 minutes long or 30 minutes long. Finding resources can help you be more successful in building your best lifestyle. It’s important when building habits, to make them easy.
When you are looking to introduce new habits, start small with micro practices to build from, and start with just one or two new practices at a time. If you attempt too many practices at once, you might end up feeling overwhelmed or unable to succeed.
Pick your practices and how you introduce them, based on what works best for you. By this, we mean set yourself up for success! If you know you are a person that does well with more structure, try finding a pathway, like YogaToday’s Complete Guide to Meditation.
Self care is a culmination of habits that help you feel the absolute best in your body.
Feel the Benefits of Building Habits
When you successfully bring new habits into your life, the benefits have a ripple effect through your entire life. Some benefits you might feel:
- Feel grounded and at ease in routine
- Improve your efficiency
- Boost overall mood and quality of life
- Help you move towards accomplishing goals
As you continue to build habits, you will begin to feel more aligned with the life you want to live. You will also cultivate a higher level of self-awareness in your daily life and practices. You will feel stronger within yourself and in your ability to care for others. Small habits create a big, beautiful life.