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Creating great new habits - challenge yourself!

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To create a new good habit, whether it be training or something else is actually not that difficult. But it takes hard work. We often know exactly what we need to do to start with the new habit, but still have a hard time getting started. We are all people of habits and therefore unconsciously strive to do like we have always done. Our bodies are programmed to try to maintain a stable environment even if is changing around us.


It saves energy, is something we are genetically programmed to do, and in the safe and secure we feel comfortable. But this where changes seldom occurs and we do not develop. In order to change and develop we need to challenge the normal, or to step outside of our comfort zones. What that means is basically if you f.ex. want to become a better runner or learn how to talk in front of an audience you will need to step outside of what you feel comfortable doing.  It’s scary and hard, but if you stop resisting these feelings and insecurities and instead use these emotions to develop you will grow as a human and create lots of new, good habits.


Find your why and set-up SMART goals

With this in mind, you need to know for what reason you want to create a new habit, find your why. That’s where you will find your motivation. Write down on a note your why and place it somewhere you can see it like on your computer or refrigerator. Your why can also be your goal, but usually it is a bit more abstract and harder to track. Your goal should therefore be specific, measurable, accepted, realistic and time-based…SMART! If your goal is to start to run and your why is to be more fit, the SMART goal could be “to run 3km without stopping in 10 weeks”. A clear goal that you can achieve, and also much easier to set a plan to reach.

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Make a plan

Once you have defined your SMART goal it’s time to create a plan on how to reach it. Your plan depends on your goal but if we use the example above of running 3km without stopping in 10 weeks these are some things that could be included:

  • Make a training plan, in this case a number of runs per week and 1-2 strength training session. Most of us have a pretty tight schedule with work, kids and obligations. If you don’t create a schedule and wait for the opportunity to arise it is most likely not going to happen. A schedule also offers a sense of security reminding you that you are working towards achieving a goal and also makes it easier to get back on-track after f.ex. a cold.

  • Make sure to get the material and equipment you need. Most often you can use what you have, but for this example maybe a pair of new running shoes can be both motivating and reduce the risk of injury.

  • Tell others about your goal and get them engaged in it. It could be your family, friends or colleagues you tell, or why not use social media channels to tell your friends. Sharing your goal can be a way to increase motivation, but it also gives others a chance to support you and maybe even be inspired to set their own goals.


SMART goals


Specific – Make your goal clear and concise.

Measurable – Make sure it is easy to measure. Det ska vara tydligt hur det ska mätas

Accepted – The goal must be accepted by the person doing it.

Realistic – Make it challenging, but achievable.

Time based – It must be clear when the goal has been reached.



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About the author Anna

Challengize health tips are specially written for you by Anna Tengblad. Anna has a  bachelor's degree in sports science, human biology and sports pedagogy with over 25 years’ experience of working with sports, training and proactive health. She is also author of the book "Girls Night Out - 12 nights outside of Stockholm’s concrete jungle".

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