No matter which phase of life you’re in, your days are likely packed with to-dos, both exciting and routine. And chances are, not everything gets prioritized in your memory’s ongoing to-do list.
We all need reminders to do things, whether it’s remembering the dry cleaning, returning a phone call, meeting a friend for lunch, or picking up multiple kids from various after-school activities. It’s no different when it comes to remembering your healthy habits. When you’re looking to make permanent healthy habit changes, a daily reminder can be the difference between meeting your goals (and feeling fantastic!) and falling short.
Remind yourself to do something specific.
Reminders can be delivered in many ways, for many purposes. When it comes to healthy living, there are two main types of reminders. The first is the kind that reminds you to do something — like packing your lunch for work, writing out a grocery shopping list, or getting to your dance class. Think about activities that you typically forget to do. It may even be something that you forget that impacts your ability to do that activity. For example, you need to get items for lunch at the grocery store if you’re going to pack a lunch each day. Then set a reminder on your phone calendar, your computer, your alarm clock, or simply put it on a sticky note that you’ll see each day.
Remind yourself of why your healthy action matters.
The second type of reminder is one that reminds you of why you want to do something. For instance, if it's dark when you leave for work in the morning and dark when you come home, it's tempting to trade in exercise for curling up the couch. But setting a reminder that helps you remember why you want to exercise can help give you the extra motivation to make it happen. If you program your phone alarm with a message that says “you always feel better after a workout” or “30 minutes will make a difference” around that critical time when you make the yes/no decision on whether to put on your gym clothes or your PJs, you’re much more likely to head to the gym. Another great example of a motivational reminder is one that tells you to remember that you’re worth the effort. A great method for this reminder is to put sticky notes in places that you’ll see them most often, like at your computer, when you open your purse or briefcase, on your nightstand, in the medicine cabinet, or on the refrigerator.
Will you set timed reminders? What will you use as a motivational reminder? Let us know what you come up with and how you do!
Photo credit: Paul Delmont