Making healthier choices can improve your life and help you live longer. Perhaps you’ve previously tried to eat healthier, exercise more, get more rest, quit smoking, or relieve stress, but you were unable to stick to those habits. Admittedly, it is not easy, but studies suggest that there are ways to improve your capacity to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This article provides you with some suggestions for creating healthy habits.
Here are 10 effective ways to create healthy habits and keep them.
1. Understand the benefits
The first step to creating a healthy habit is to understand the benefits you stand to gain. If you want to start eating healthier, then find out why you should do so, and give yourself reasons why eating healthy is good for you personally. If you want to get more sleep, read up on the benefits of getting quality sleep and meditate on how it can help you individually.
2. Make it fun
Studies show that people who have fun while making changes in their lives are more likely to stick with them than those who don’t enjoy the process. So try to find activities that will be enjoyable for you.
For example, if you’d love to lose weight, go jogging instead of walking. If you’re trying to stop smoking, join a group of friends who share similar goals.
3. Set small goals
If you set big goals like “I’m going to lose 50 pounds in 3 days,” chances are you’ll give up before you reach your goal. Instead, set smaller goals like “I’m planning to walk 30 minutes every day.” When you achieve these smaller goals, they add up to bigger ones. If you want to motivate yourself to lose weight, then setting small, achievable goals will help you.
4. Reward yourself when you meet your goals
Reward yourself for meeting your smaller goals by doing something special. You could take a cooking class or buy new clothes. You might also reward yourself by taking time off from work or spending an extra hour on the treadmill. There are many healthy ways to reward yourself, and feel good about your achievements.
5. Keep track of what you do
Keeping track of what you do helps you remember why you did it and how well you did. This is vital if you’re trying to change bad habits such as smoking, overeating, or even emotional eating. If your goal is to stay on a healthy diet, then a food journal can enable you to stick to the habit successfully.
6. Be realistic about your ability to succeed
Don’t expect to become a marathon runner overnight. Instead, start slowly and increase your activity level steadily. Also, don’t expect to completely eliminate unhealthy behaviors. Even if you make drastic changes, you may still need to rely on willpower to keep yourself motivated.
7. Think positive
Focus on all the things you’d rather be doing than on the negative aspects of changing your behavior. For example, think about how much better you feel after exercising instead of how tired you are.
8. Ask for help
It’s hard to change a habit without support. Talk to family members, friends, or professionals who can provide encouragement and advice. Don’t be afraid to talk to a nutritionist, fitness expert, or mental health professional for guidance.
9. Don’t compare yourself to others
It’s natural sometimes to compare yourself to other people. But this comparison makes it harder to stay focused on your own goals. Focus on yourself alone.
10. Take breaks
When you’re working on a project, it’s tempting to keep at it until you finish. However, this approach usually leads to burnout. Taking frequent breaks will prevent fatigue and allow you to continue with your task.
4 Heathy Habits You Can Start
The following are five healthy habits you can start and stick to.
• Get enough sleep
Getting sufficient amounts of sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that lack of sleep increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
• Eat right
A balanced diet full of lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and nuts is associated with lower rates of certain cancers, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression.
• Exercise regularly
Regularly engaging in physical activities can enhance your cardiovascular system and boost your immune system. Also, exercising can improve your mental health.
• Drink more water
Drinking more water can help maintain the balance of body fluids, boost digestion, and improve skin health. You can find out ways to stay more hydrated.
Healthy habits will happen when you set yourselves up for success. Following these ways to create healthy habits discussed above, can be exactly what you need to start living healthy today.