Are you looking to build healthy habits? Maybe you have been considering being more active, eating better or just changing some negative habits you engage in. The truth is though, old habits truly do die hard and so it can seem difficult to get in the groove. Changing your habits for health is something that needs to be done slowly, and in stages to ensure that these changes stick, you may face some roadblocks along the way but it will be worth it.
Why Adopt Healthier Habits?
It is safe to say that adopting healthier habits can have a positive effect on your overall health and well being. In fact, changing your lifestyle and sticking to healthy habits can help to protect you from serious or life-threatening health issues like diabetes or obesity.
Changing your habits and adding in some regular activity and eating healthier can also help you increase your energy stores, manage your weight and help your mental health.
How to Build Healthy Habits
Consider the What and the Why
The first step to changing your habits for health is to consider what changes need to be made and why you want to change them.
Giving yourself a reason that makes sense to you will help to gain the motivation you need to move forward with the changes and build healthy habits. Do your research, find out the health benefits of making the changes you want to make, and then start off on your journey to move forward.
Make a Plan
Once you have made up your mind to change your habits, it is time to start planning your actions.
Learn more about the changes you want to make and take the time to make lists of the things you need to move forward.
If you are trying to make dietary changes, make a list of the healthy foods you need more of. This is why meal planning is so helpful!
Not sure where to start with meal planning? Check out my Meal Planning Method where I walk you through the baby steps and show you how I meal plan to keep my family eating healthy foods and reducing our food waste.
If you are looking to be more physically active list out some fun activities that you can participate in (take a walk, play tennis, golf without a cart, swim with the kids). Once you have a plan in place you can start setting goals to reach based on those plans.
Setting goals is an important step to making changes.
Take your time to set realistic and achievable goals for the short term and long term.
Break them down into categories that apply to each change you wish to make. For example, if you are looking to up your activity levels, use the list that you have made of activities you like and set a goal to participate in each of them for an achievable amount of time.
Setting both short and long term goals will help to motivate you to push ahead.
Once you have started to make your changes, it is important to do some reflection.
Take the actions necessary to move forward all while reviewing the plan and taking a look at the goals you have met and how well you are achieving them.
Plan ahead for setbacks so that you will know how to overcome them and reward yourself for taking action.
Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress can help you to spot your strengths and weaknesses and identify areas where you can make improvements. Record the actions that you took and how you felt while succeeding. Your thoughts and feelings can play a vital role in ensuring you stick to your new habits.
Recording your progress can also help you to remain focused and catch yourself about to hit a roadblock.
Remember that encountering a setback does not mean that you have failed, it just means that you need to get back on track.
It is important to remind yourself of the “why” behind the changes you want to make. Recalling your reasons for the changes will help especially when you slip up. Make the decision that it is important to take the first steps to getting back on track as soon as possible.
When you encounter a setback, sit back and problem solve. Why are you being held back? What is there that you can do to get around the roadblock? For example, if you are finding that the weather is too bad to go on your walk, have a plan in place to walk around a local mall, or do a workout video on YouTube.
If you find yourself needing help, it is a good idea to have someone on standby. Have a close friend or family member in close contact, that knows the goals you are setting and changes you are making, that can help to keep you accountable.
It is important that you reward yourself after reaching each goal you have set. Make sure that your goals are not food related though as this can create other unhealthy habits.
Instead, consider sharing your success with loved ones, purchasing yourself a new workout device or outfit, or even simply engaging in a relaxing activity you truly enjoy. Hello, massage!
It is important though that you choose the rewards you recieve carefully. This is because you want to ensure that you are proud of your progress and not setting it back with what you choose to reward it with.
When negative thoughts start to plague your mind, remind yourself how great you are doing and how well you are moving forward. These little reminders can help to keep you on track, even when you feel as though you are having a difficult time.
When it comes to changing your habits for your health, it is important that you know your why, create a plan, set goals, and take action. Doing these things can help you to make the changes you need to have a healthier lifestyle without failure.
Don’t forget, if you’re looking to establish healthy habits (like adding more vegetables to your diet in fun and tasty ways) be sure to secure a spot in the 30 Days to a Healthy Habits Challenge.