Good habits can set you up for a long, healthy future. A healthy lifestyle will improve your quality of life, both physically and mentally. We’ve all tried to eat healthily or exercise daily, but these healthy habits can seem difficult to stick to, causing a never-ending cycle of giving up and starting over. Building habits can seem intimidating at first, but here are some ways you can create new healthy habits that actually stick.
When building a habit, start with a small goal and stick to it every day until it becomes natural. If you want to exercise, try exercising for 10 minutes and then work your way up. Don’t overwhelm yourself right at the start because this might make you lose the confidence or motivation to continue. Small tasks feel less daunting and are much more achievable. Then, when you feel comfortable, you can increase your goals.
Plan ahead. Make your new habits easier to stick to by planning ahead of time. If you want to exercise, lay out your gym clothes the night before, so you’re more motivated to put them on in the morning. If you want to eat healthier, make sure your fridge has many healthy snacks– meal prep for days that you might be too busy to cook. Pre-wash and cut up some vegetables and fruits so you can grab them on the go. If you find yourself gravitating towards sugary, “unhealthy” foods when you’re stressed or busy, replace those low-nutrient sweets with healthier alternatives.
Keep track of your progress. Sometimes, we give up on our healthy habits because we haven’t made any progress with them. Write down your progress in a journal so you can look back on it. It will not only make you feel better about what you’ve already done, but it will also motivate you to continue moving forward. Writing down your goals also holds you more accountable.
Reward yourself for making these healthy changes. Building a new healthy habit doesn’t have to be tedious or unenjoyable. Find fun and rewarding ways to practice your new habits, such as going on a walk with your friends or signing up for a fun cooking class. New habits are always easier when you do them with a friend. They don’t have to be with you every day but knowing you have that support really helps.
If you have some ‘bad’ habits you’d like to eliminate, the first step is to identify what they are and what triggers you to do them. Is it stress, lack of time, or another underlying issue causing you to have these bad habits? All habits have a purpose, even the bad ones. They might be coping mechanisms for something, so find out what that is, and then you can work on fixing it.
Stick to your habits daily. On average, a new task takes about 60 days to become a habit. However, this isn’t a set date, and it can take much longer. You will create a new habit much more easily and maybe even quicker if you practice it every day. However, don’t ever punish yourself for falling off track. If you miss a day or two, just move on and continue from where you left off. Don’t let it undo all your progress by giving up.
Need help forming these habits long-term? I can help with that.