Everyone in the world has their habits, which are not good or bad; they just are. The most important thing about them is that each serves a purpose in our lives. It is difficult to form new, healthy habits, but we all try our best to create ones that will positively impact our lives. Below are some tips to help you develop new, long-lasting, healthy habits.
Be aware of your current ones
You can’t just ignore the habits that are ingrained into you. Becoming aware of the things that you do and things that you’d like to change is essential. Start by identifying the helpful habits that you do: eating right, doing activities of daily living such as brushing your teeth or hair, exercising, and getting enough sleep are ones that may catch your attention. Then, identify the unhelpful ones: an affinity for junk food, procrastination, and watching too much television may be some that you notice.
You can use several strategies to allow yourself the space to fill with better habits. For one, instead of cutting your habit cold turkey, fill it with a replacement plan. This way, you’re keeping yourself occupied so that when you turn on autopilot, you’re focused on the replacement plan instead. Removing the triggers that cause you to turn to your habit is something that can be incredibly beneficial as well.
On the subject of not cutting out your unhealthy habits cold turkey, one of the best ways that you can set yourself up for success is to create a plan. By planning for obstacles and things that may trip you up, you’ll be able to plan how to implement your new, healthy habits. Create an environment for yourself where you can work towards success in bite sized pieces. You may think that the grand gestures of changing things about yourself (for example, New Year’s Resolutions) are motivating, but they tend to wear off after a little while. Moving and changing in little steps can allow you to set a good foundation and fix things that go wrong along the way.
Hold yourself accountable
You’re not going to see the results of your good decisions immediately– it’s necessary that you stay consistent and stick with the plan. Unfortunately, creating new habits is like running a marathon: as much as you’d like it, you just can’t start at the finish line. You have to start from the beginning.
On that note, setbacks are going to happen, and you should plan for them. You’re not going to be totally perfect 100% of the time, and you’re setting yourself up for failure thinking that you’re like that. One thing that may help is to celebrate the small victories. By acknowledging the changes, you’ll be motivated to keep going toward a healthier lifestyle.