Your guide to creating habits that stick

Ready to create a lasting habit?

A group of women take a selfie with their masks on

Now that Covid-19 restrictions have eased and we start to do more of the things we love, you might be looking to create new habits.

Some habits can help everyone stay safe, like regular self- testing, wearing a mask and social distancing. Other habits can help you become healthier, fitter, happier or more productive.

Whether you want to help protect against Covid-19 or improve another part of your life, welcome to your guide to creating habits that stick.

How do you turn an action into a habit?

Two women in wet suits coming out of the sea

An action becomes a habit when you do it without even thinking about it. Habits are normally triggered by a certain reminder or cue, and they’re more likely to stick if you reward yourself straight after.

You probably already have loads of habits. Everyone can turn an action into a habit. It’s just about making it easy and giving yourself a pat on the back afterwards.

All about habits

There’s a 5 step process to creating a new habit, that is based on the latest insights from psychology and the way people’s brains operate. It’s easy to remember, as it spells out C.H.E.C.K.

  1. Cue – the thing that reminds you to act
  2. Habit – the action you want to repeat – eventually it’ll come naturally
  3. Easy – make sure your habit is easy to complete
  4. Celebrate – reward yourself straight after
  5. Keep going – actions take 4 weeks to become a habit. Track your progress to make it stick.

Passengers on a bus wearing masks Man and woman bump elbows with masks on  Girls dancing in a class Group of three women wearing novelty glassesTwo men running on a racetrack

Abdul’s story

“I’m 21 and about to go into my final year at uni. I test myself at home every time I go out to see my friends or when I get on the train to go to London.

“My parents are doctors and have been treating Covid-19 patients in hospital since the start of the pandemic, so I’ve heard first-hand how serious the virus is. I know it’s important to test myself regularly, so I am not passing it on to anyone else without knowing. My parents are doing all this to make sure people are alright, so I feel it’s the right thing to do.

“We’re planning a gathering of about 20 of my uni mates outside later this year and the guy who is organising it is asking everyone to do a test beforehand – it’s just peace of mind so you can enjoy yourself and not be scared of passing it on.”

Abdul’s CHECK list

Abdul

  1.  My Cue is making plans with my friends
  2. My Habit is doing my Covid-19 test
  3. It’s Easy because I picked up my test from my library and it only takes 30 minutes
  4. I Celebrate by meeting my friends in our favourite place
  5. I Keep going for peace of mind and to keep Covid in check.

Start your new habit today!

The whole point of a habit is that you keep at it. The easier the action, the more likely you are to do it. Day by day, week by week. After only four weeks a habit starts to really stick. Whether your habit is daily or twice-weekly, don’t forget to have your reward too. Keep going, and within three months it will be second nature. Result!

Group of young people eat food inside with door open

Monday: Quick self-test before starting work?

Tuesday: Got visitors coming? Let the fresh air in.

Wednesday: Popping to the shop? Don’t forget hand san.

Thursday: Seeing family or friends? Remember your mask.

Friday: Quick self-test before the weekend.

Saturday: Treat yourself to a special reward. Your choice.

Sunday: Why not ask a friend to join you with their own four-week Habit CHECK?

 

 

Two young girls on a bus wearing masks Mother and daughter enjoy cup of tea outside Women doing an aqua aerobics class in a swimming pool  Two men give women piggy backs on the beachTwo men practise kickboxing

Livewell Partners