So you want better habits? As you well should. Your habits are the defining factor in the life that you create and perpetuate. They determine what you eat, where you go, how you move and how you feel. They shape your reality.

Oftentimes people get so caught up in negative behaviors that they overthink how simple it actually is to change a habit. No, not easy, but yes, simple.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, we each follow a feedback loop of cue, behavior, reward. Repeat. Taking on new habits by giving yourself new cues and rewarding different behaviors will help interrupt old habits. It will reshape your choices and responses.

Remember, this is a process. You are quite literally rewiring the circuitry of your brain. So it’s probably not going to feel like second nature on the first day. But you can expedite this process of making self-care exercise a habit.

Make self-care your keystone habit to fast-track your fitness goals

The good news about habit-building is that once you’ve hard-wired a new habit, it becomes automatic–so you don’t have to put so much effort in anymore. To turbo-charge into newer, healthier habits, consider changing a keystone habit. A keystone habit is a shift in behavior that leads to “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold,” according to Duhigg.

“Keystone habits influence how we work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate… they can start a process that, over time, transforms everything.” -Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

Adopting a new keystone habit will create a cascade of positive effects on the rest of your life. For instance, if you’ve been sleep-deprived for months and you suddenly commit to getting eight hours a night, that’s going to positively impact many other parts of your life: You might drink less caffeine, make better eating choices, be more productive at work.

The special magic of keystone habits is that they change your self-concept. When your idea of who you are changes, you experience a paradigm shift. You come to think of yourself as a different kind of person and see your life through new eyesThen you begin to behave as that kind of person would.

If you want to make health and fitness top priority, we suggest that you make self-care a keystone habit. By regularly setting aside 10, 15 or 20 minutes to relieve tension, breathe deeply, tune in to yourself more fully, all other decisions will be touched.

Regular self-care practice will help you think of yourself as someone worthy of care–someone who deserves to reach and actualize your bigger hopes and dreams. It will help you out of the frustrating reactionary cycle of stress and poor choices in your daily life.

[QUOTE] "We can never free ourselves from habits. The human being is a creature of habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones. We can trade in the habit of the amateur... for the practice of the professional..." - From Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield. Peak Performance Month, Tune Up Fitness Blog

Why do I need self-care fitness?

Committing to a regular self-care practice means you set aside time to do activities that make you feel peaceful, vibrant, fulfilled and cared for. This helps inspire regeneration in your body. You become a more resilient self-healing, self-repairing organism.

Examples of self-care: Practice self-massage by rolling on therapy balls. Do gentle yoga postures to ease tension and increase circulation. Experiment with conscious breathing practices. Meditate on a new mindset. Engage in dynamic stretch and movement that feels good. A committed habit of self-care will nourish your body and mind to set your attitude and nervous system up for optimal health.

This probably sounds like a brilliant idea, but you may have the nagging feeling that it might not be so easy to prioritize. As previously mentioned, it might not be easy at first, but it is simple. The following chart provides habit-building practices that will support a smoother shift into regular self-care. Print it out and stick it on your refrigerator. It’ll be your first “cue!”

[INFOGRAPHIC] Five steps to make self-care fitness a habit, Peak Performance Month, Tune Up Fitness blog

 

If you want us here at @TuneUpFitness to be your first accountability buddy, tell us your self-care goal in the comments below! Let us know why you know you knead it (sorry, self-massage joke), and what your plan is… we’ve got your back.

 

Author: Ariel Kiley

 

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Patricia Boudreault

Like this calendar! I will print it out. My fitness goal first is to slow down and get a good training routine to fortify my body and facilitate my work that is very physical. Also to implement a stretching and rolling massing routine to balance all that!

Yiman Xiao

Having a friend to encourage each other does works!

poirsha

This article really hit home for me. I was giving myself daily oil massages and strict with my meditations and then a change in relationship status and new home location shifted my focus. I have felt unworthy lately more than ever before and it is due largely to my lack of self care. The tip I have not used is marking it on my calendar and ‘showing up for my appointment!’ That will be implemented immediately. Thank You!

Veronica Costa-Bolton

A positive, affirming article on making self care a priority. A statement that really summed this blog up for me was the line, “Regular self-care practice will help you think of yourself as someone worthy of self care…” . In a media driven world that capitalizes on marketing that an individual is never quite enough, the idea that we can take our worthiness back by setting 10 to 20 minutes aside each day to prioritize our health just because we deserve it will also shown in our work, sleep and relationship choices.

Virginia

Self care can be so much more that just downregulation. I find that saying “no” to excessive favors or to things that don’t sit right is a really important part of self care too!!

Genie

What a helpful article in guiding anyone towards healthy habits. I’ve started making self-care a priority in my life a couple years ago, but this article is great in tuning up and honing in on that priority. The concept of Keystone Habits have also given me much more food for thought.

Sara Wang

I think about self care often and try to do it whenever I feel like i need it. But then I realized I always wait until when I really need it. This chart will be a good way for me to start self care on a regular schedule.

Jacquelyn

I love the visual guide, that was really helpful in figuring out how to make these new self-care habits stick!

wendy

Self care is becoming more and more important, as our daily life is evolved around doing things for people around us and complete our responsibilities, it is easy to neglect what ourselves need, our physical body, our mind, emotions, so yes, self care should be what we do daily for ourselves, exercise, doing things to heal our emotions, act care towards ourselves.

Isis

I just discovered the tune up therapy balls and I really feel that is a great tool to provide a moment of relaxation and of course to help me release the tiredness and stress of the day. We just need to have a small experience of the benefits of taking care of our selves and that can make it easier to create a habit.

Buddy

Ya’ know, transforming habits aside, my first reaction to this blog post was the image at the top – an athletic caucasian woman showing a fair amount of skin. She’s rolling out her hand and looks like she’s havin’ a real good time doin’ it. I wonder if this is the self-care exercise that people need the most. I wonder if I’m looking at the person who most needs to read this post. I wonder if that person can identify with this image. Personally, I feel like I’m looking at the finished product of habitual change rather than the person-in-progress… Read more »

Marlene

If everybody could leave at least an hour a day for a good habit such a self care , they could be a better anything else in their life and benefit from greater health

Rob

These are great tips, and super easy to implement.

I like the idea of focusing on keystone habits to help create a shift on a larger scale of the way you are functioning.

Dominique Lim

I find that I need to set-up daily reminders for myself for when I should schedule self-care time. I also like using a timer to ‘time’ how long I have been working on the computer to make sure I get to step away for a few minutes to move around and do conscious breathing exercises.

Melanie

Thanks for sharing, it is an excellent reminder to prioritize and make yourself accountable for your own self care. I often find that my intent is there but other things end up coming first and I tell myself=that they’re another things are more important. I know this is one of the biggest lies that I tell myself. This is a great reminder that myself care is not a luxury but a necessity.

Julian

Very helpful, not just in emphasising the positive changes I have already made but also in providing a roadmap to continue the journey to the next levels. I can say I have hit a plateau and am looking forward to incorporating more good habits into my daily life and practice.

Marta Hanrahan

These are great! Self care doesn’t have to be so complicated. Thank you!

jisook park

This self care is very simple.
Just put on the desk or elsewhere we could easily see , not doing it immediately but seeing it again and again, we will be more close to those selfcare practice.

Agata Wojno

Very helpful article. I am in process of changing some of my habits and the work starts with being aware that they exist. I believe that the secret of the success, in any area – but especially in self – care fitness, is hidden in our daily routine. And routine is created by habits!

Lisa Bourque

The infographic is a nice visual reminder of how to incorporate more self-care into your daily routine. Strategies of Putting it in the calendar, use daily visualizations, get inspired, staying accountable, reward yourself! Setting aside time to be more peaceful and cared for helps to promote self-healing and to build resiliency. After this is built in it will become a routine of self care!

Doug Wright

I agree that changing habits is a simple thing to do, but it is not often easy. I like the idea of making self-care a “keystone” habit. Scheduling time to perform self-care on a daily basis is a good way to create consistency and accountability.

Maggie

I find myself losing some of my selfcare habits when I’m in school. I tend to focus 110% on the work, forgetting that I need to take of care of me as well. This article is a great and helpful reminder on how I can stick to my routine when the semester starts up next week. Thanks!!

Liz

Great visual. Remembering “self-care fitness” doesn’t have to feel hard or depleting is so important. Gentle yoga, conscious breathing and rolling on therapy balls count!

johanna

I like this inspiring quote by Charles Duhigg ““Keystone habits influence how we work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate… they can start a process that, over time, transforms everything.”
I really believe in the power of self care to allow us to transform ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally and also the importance of accountability in finding a good support system . By creating new positive changes or keystone habits as Duhigg says we can transform.

Lace

I’ve learned that accountability is really important here, whether it’s on your own or from other people, you just have to find what works best for you. There are some challenging days when I come up with so many reasons and excuses not to go through with my goals but it’s the accountability aspect that gets me to do them anyway.

Abi Rose

I notice in my daily life that my habits absolutely create “…a feedback loop of cue, behavior, reward. Repeat.” For me, reading about the concept of “keystone habits” provides me with a clear and helpful directive to re-orient myself within and re-prioritize my daily choices. Having fallen out of what has been in the past a regular self-care practice, this post is well-timed. Between travel and other life demands, a very important piece of keeping myself well and healthy has often fallen to the wayside. Having recently begun to reincorporate with daily intention and attention, I welcome these strategies and… Read more »

Mélanie Roy

Thank you for your article. Indeed, you have to change your habits one at a time to see all the benefits. Do not think to arrive at the top of the mountain before having climbed.

Cindy Côté

I like the idea to alloting time for myself in calender…its my goal!

JUNE BARTON

Great inspiration, creating a habit for yourself takes process and mindset. It might be harder in the beginning but setting goals and start slow and build up to it, until it becomes part of you.

Alice

I like the idea of allotting time for myself in my calendar. I live by my planner in order to keep track various classes and clients that I teach, so it seems this could be a way I hold myself accountable and show up in the same way I show up for my appointments. Thanks for the inspiring tips!

Katie Fogelson

This is such a great reminder and personally, has had a huge impact on my life. Once I introduced the therapy balls into my life, I truly started to enjoy and savor my self-care practice. Like the article suggests, reframing the mindset and deeming yourself as worthy of care is a huge first step in the process and can really trickle down into multiple areas of your life, just like other keystone habits like sleep, meal planning, etc.

Martine Lauzon

I have also found that adding reminders or self care objects in key places around the house is helpful. If I see it, I am more likely to use it. An example would be that I keep my YTU balls on a shelf in my living room where I can see them every day. I also leave my yoga mat and meditation cushion on the floor ready for use. My entire house is filled with self care cues.

june kim

Thank you for your great tips. I think it is the most important for me to get inspired. I will try to read, watch,and listen to great story.

scott

Changing habits / lifestyle can be challenging but I’ve heard – and can attest – that if you can keep the new habit for three months, it would be second nature after that. I had a phase of being somewhat sedentary and sleeping poorly, and primarily to get my sleep back, I jumped into a strict and regularly scheduled crossfit and yoga routine. Got my sleep back, and haven’t been able to give up the active lifestyle since. Definitely a keystone habit, considering the changes in energy, diet and mindset that come along with this in time. Thanks for sharing!

Kila Divina

I will definitely use these five steps in helping me to take more time for self-care practices. Adding a new keystone habit every month is a small step to make big changes! We are worthy of our own care and commitment!!

Polly swingle

One of my Sankullas is:I will take care of my body, by giving me proper self care daily to bring me health and wellness.

Suzanne O'Donnell

Thanks for the idea of blocking time on my calendar for self-care- i do it for the dentist and doctor, I even do it for my car.. time to value practice enough to make an appointment with myself!

C Coleman

Great tips for self-care. I especially like the suggestion about putting it on the calendar.

Dina

Wow. That’s exactly what i needed! I started to learn about neuroscience, about how habits are being created, how difficult it is to create new positive habits and this article is right on point! I love 5 steps to make self-care fitness a habit. Will try to integrate it into my daily life. Thank you!

Jill

Upon reading I reflected back to a time when I took my body and all it could do for granted. It wasn’t until I received a lesson by experiencing the life of another that was unable to use their body that I began to see my body in a new light. I began to schedule in time for myself to develop new skills in my body. Create new routines of sleep, nutrition and movement to support my body as a resource and partner. I found that through this support of my body, I became more at ease in my mind.… Read more »

Rudie

Great tips. Thanks for this. Knowing we are deserving of healthy habits is something I had not even considered!

deborah liu

this is a very important article because we often push our bodies with activities but in the long run, would benefit from taking a step back and making sure that muscles are loosened and nagging pains are addressed. it’s being mindful about our wellness.

Randy Williams

This post is huge and really resonates. Especially this time of year when new year new me habits/goals begin to fade or even disappear completely to be replaced with old habits/behaviours. The part about keystone habits is really cool and something I am going to reflect on to determine some keystone habits that stop me from engaging in the things that energize me. Thank you for this

Debra McKay

I have an obstructive lung disease that causes inflammation of the bronchi called bronchiectasis. I really want to develop a rolling regimen that will help with this. Any suggestions? I’m a medical provider, so don’t worry about overstepping your bounds. I have a pulmonologist. I’m also in Jill’s YTU in LA. There is magic here.

Karla Knight

Thank you for your article?? You can never be reminded enough how to change old habits. I love your chart. I want to incorporate meditation in my day and will us these suggestions to do it! ❤️??

Ella Maghen

Thank you for the article. I think that in order to practice self care you must make sure that you embody your body. Accept it for all that it is and then better it by implementing the methods outlined in the article.

Stevie

I love the idea of targeting a keystone habit. It makes the daunting work of attacking a list of bad habits more manageable. If I change one thing I can trust the other things will follow. Even if they don’t, I have the positive reinforcement that I could change one thing, so now I can tackle another.

Andrew Chung

Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” and this article do a great job in giving a very tangible and realistic situation where “Your perception/attitude creates your reality.” Habits are systems that exist just beyond our superficial realities. It takes observation, practice, and a willingness to listen (to ourselves) to recognize and notice our habits. It’s easy to not be aware of habits and to live in a non-skillful way. Bad habits are something that I think everyone can relate to and to know that there are simple, evidence-based exercises/tools to rewire our habits is not only inspiring on it’s own… Read more »

nahanni

Self care is the new black.. thank you for this helpful article and inspirational too! Which is how we can find momentum to create healthy habits and the focus of what self care actually looks like – which can be discipline masked as many things.The biggest factor for me has been to actually schedule things into my calendar.. thanks to technology we actually have lots of free accountability right at our fingertips.

Dawn Williams

I’m focusing each day, through meditation, on being positive, non judgmental and accepting life as it is presented. This stops the pushing away and encourages the joy of every day.

Tune Up Fitness

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing Dawn 🙂