How You Can Develop Healthy Habits for Life
There isn’t a single person who couldn’t benefit from developing more healthy habits in his or her life. Whether it is cleaner eating, more physical activity, or stress-busting practices, cultivating healthy habits is sure to increase your quality of life.
But habits are hard! That’s why so many people fail to keep resolutions every January. After all, resolutions often involve healthier habits. If you’re sick of constantly disappointing yourself and letting your healthy habits slide, here are a few tricks to really make them stick:
Think positively. Healthy habits start with your mindset. If you start an exercise routine feeling overwhelmed and disappointed about it from the beginning, it won’t last. Think about your habits optimistically to see real changes.
Single-task. For so long we’ve been hearing about the importance of being able to juggle many things all at once. However, when it comes to your habits, you should become a single-tasking aficionado. By focusing on one habit at a time, you will be more successful in the long run. Once you feel confident about one habit, you can start adding a second. Over time, you’ll be able to juggle many healthy habits at once without dropping any of them.
Write it out. Did you know you are 42% more likely to achieve a goal simply by writing it down? If creating healthy habits in your life is a goal, write them down and be specific, then hang that piece of paper somewhere it will constantly remind you of your commitment.
Be kind. You are going to mess up every once and a while. You may find yourself binge eating ice cream or skipping your morning jog for a whole week. Instead of tearing yourself down, build yourself up with kindness. Accept the mistake and get back into the pattern of healthy habits as quickly as possible.
Make it routine. Your schedule will fill up whether you like it or not. If you are not specifically setting time aside for your habit, you will not do it. When scheduling your week, your habits should be the first thing you block time out for. Everything else comes after.
Start small. If you haven’t gone jogging in over a decade, setting the goal for yourself to run 5 miles every day might be a little too far-reaching. Start small. Scale the calories back by 300 for the first month, then up it from there once you have grown used to that shortage. Starting small will help you avoid becoming easily frustrated with yourself.
Focus on today. Looking far into the future, like at that marathon you signed up for at the end of summer, will make your habits feel like impossible obstacles. Focus on hitting your goals today. Then you can begin thinking about tomorrow once that’s been accomplished.
List the benefits. Most people focus on the negatives of their new habit, like the hunger they’ll experience on their new diet or the time commitment learning a new hobby will take. Listing the benefits will give you something positive to focus on as your life reshapes around your habits.
Favor consistency over performance. The overachiever in us all will get frustrated if you set really high goals and fail at hitting them. You should be more concerned about consistency, however, rather than performance. Smaller, incremental successes are better than large failures.
Everyone’s habits will differ from one person to another. While one person might choose to pursue painting as a stress reliever, another might want to focus on their physical health. Here are a few healthy habits we believe everyone should consider:
- Having an attitude of gratitude.
- Creating a healthy, strong mind.
- Walking more.
- Learning to relax.
- Staying hydrated—always.
- Establishing a daily mantra.
- Developing positive self-talk.
- Slowing down.
- Getting outside more often.
- Learning to plan accordingly.
- Smiling more.
- Being proactive.
- Saying, “I love you” to those who really matter.
- Staying organized.
- Finding time to meditate.
- Getting physically active.
- Reading more.
- Living in the moment.
- Getting a minimum of five servings of fruits and veggies a day.
- Replacing soda with water or tea.
- Getting in-tune with yourself.
- Writing down your thoughts.
- Spending more time with loved ones.
- Saying “thank you” more often.
- Helping others.
- Giving more.
 Hyatt, M. (2014). 5 reasons why you should commit your goals to writing. Retrieved from http://michaelhyatt.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-commit-your-goals-to-writing.html