Want to learn how to develop healthy habits for 2021? We are all creatures of habit and with new challenges, we can set ourselves up for success with more than just willpower. Habits are formed when you do something long enough that it becomes ingrained or automatic.
Let’s take a look at a few strategies and tips to make those healthy habits stick.
- Start with cognitive goals.
When people set out to improve their health, they often think about the action first. Wake up earlier, eat breakfast, eat better. But the truth is that getting healthy starts in your
mind. Work on visiting one museum or zoo a month, or commit to putting together a
puzzle weekly or taking up a new hobby, like gardening.
- Stack your habits.
When creating a new habit, look for patterns in your existing habits that you may be able to tie into a new habit. If there is a time of day you know that already works best for you, add the new habit in during that time period. Maybe you want to do squats while you brush your teeth or pack some healthy snacks while your coffee brews.
- Make it easy.
Slow and steady wins the race. Choose something that can be done in small easy steps. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, start with a 10-minute walk 3 times a week, then work your way up to 5 days a week. Once this becomes easy, then up your walks to 20 minutes and so on. If you want to go to the gym more often, pack your bag and hang it on the doorknob so you grab it on your way out.
- Don’t rely on motivation.
You can’t always rely on motivation because it can wear off. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner, or post reminders on your mirror as to why you are adding a new habit. Motivation will come and go, so have a backup plan in place.
- Find the joy.
If you need to listen to an audiobook while you walk or run, find one that you really enjoy.
If getting on the treadmill daily is the habit you want to implement, find a TV show to watch. Creating a new healthy habit does not mean it has to be painful or boring. Find something that fits your personality. When you enjoy living a healthy life, that’s when you will find it easier to stick with healthy habits.
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions.
It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”
~ Tony Robbins
We have experienced a lot of change this past year, but have patience in the new year. Be consistent, and do one thing at a time. Decide which change is your biggest priority and start there. Most people cannot make a huge change at once and keep up with it because willpower is required. So give yourself some grace and if you lose focus, start again.
Don’t quit completely just because you missed a day or two.
Do you have some tips that have helped you implement healthy habits in the past? We’d love to hear from you!