Making healthy changes to our lifestyle can be tough. We all know that we should exercise more, eat better, and get more quality sleep, but actually following through with these healthy resolutions is another story.
But why is it so hard to stick to habits? The truth is, it’s not easy to create lasting change in our lives. But it is possible if we approach habit formation with the right combination of practical steps and mindset work.
By following these tips, you’ll be racking up healthy habits in no time.
Just kidding. That’s not what it’s about. If you want to find success with this, your first must remember you’re in it for the long haul when it comes to habits. That may sound intimidating, but the lasting nature of habits is what makes them so great.
While the initial work of building habits can be arduous, once they become so deeply rooted in your life, making healthy choices becomes second nature. Plus, it’s so worth it when you see the dividends they pay off in your life.
Build your habits based on your goals.
Some people want to focus on building healthy habits because they have a specific health goal, like running a marathon or fitting into their wedding dress. Others may have more general goals, like improving their energy levels or mood.
Remember that habits are not the same thing as goals, but you should first have a goal or two in mind. Your goals will help determine which healthy habits you should focus on and how you will go about making them stick.
Build your habits around awareness.
To paraphrase the wise words of courage expert and author Brené Brown, you will know failure when you put yourself out there and are brave with your life. So carry yourself with the steadfast awareness that you will fail. You will lapse, and you will make excuses. And that is okay. It’s called being human.
Focus on showing up, not perfection. The most important part of any healthy habit is showing up and being consistent. You don’t have to be perfect; you have to show up day after day, week after week.
Also, be mindful of your triggers. Why do you reach for that bag of chips when you’re stressed? Why do you skip the gym when you’re tired? By understanding your triggers, you can develop a plan to avoid or counter them.
Work on one habit at a time.
Trying to revamp your entire life overnight is a recipe for disaster. You’re much more likely to stick to a habit if you focus on one at a time. Once that habit becomes part of your routine, you can move on to the next one.
One way to ensure you stick to your new healthy habits is to build one on top of the other – a practice known as habit stacking.
Say you want to start incorporating yoga into your day. You decide that mornings are best to loosen your body and open your mind for the day ahead. So when do you do it? You roll out your yoga mat immediately after completing a pre-existing habit, like after you make the bed or hit start on the coffee maker.
Hint: you already have more habits than you might realize! Everything you’ve already built and are building now will amount to a healthy, exciting life. So more than anything, remember to enjoy the process — because life is what happens when you’re busy building habits.