Everyone knows that health is one of the most important aspects of life. Having good health will help you maintain your quality of life as you grow older, and make life more enjoyable every day. But sometimes it seems impossible to get started. Here are a few tips for building habits that will help you get healthy and keep you that way.
Examine Your Life
Chances are, your day is already made up of hundreds of small habits, both good and bad. Maybe you brush your teeth at the same time every day or accidentally spend three hours scrolling on your phone at night. Take a day or two to observe what you’re already doing in a day. It’s possible that you’ll immediately be able to identify some chain reactions or triggers that cause either positive or negative behaviors.
For instance, many people find that watching TV leads to eating an entire bag of potato chips, or not getting dressed in the morning leads to lying in bed all day. Or maybe taking a supplement like Power Life by Tony Horton leads to a better workout. Once you know what causes the habits you do or don’t want to have, you can start disrupting the pattern of your life for the results you want.
Create a Routine
The most important aspect of habit building is consistency. In order for your brain to understand that you’re doing this certain task or action every day, you have to do it every day for several months. To integrate a new habit into your lifestyle, try creating a daily routine that you can stick to.
It’s advisable to add one new habit at a time, to make it more manageable. It can be tempting to try going from no exercise and a bad diet to an hour in the gym every day and clean eating, but you’ll get better results in the long run if you take it slow. Plus, you have to find out how to navigate obstacles to your habits, like vacations and holidays.
And it’s best to make the healthier choice the easier choice to make. For instance, if your workplace stocks a lot of unhealthy snacks, pack your own snacks every day and avoid the break room. If you have trouble getting yourself to the gym, put on your workout gear first thing in the morning and promise to do just fifteen minutes of easy exercise. Before you know it, these choices will become habits.
Keep a Record
Once you’ve created the routine, all that’s left to do is stick to it. But that’s often the hardest part, and many people give up before they’ve truly developed a new habit. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep track of your new habit, whether you’re writing about it in a journal or just checking it off a list every day. There’s an app for everything these days, and there are habit tracking apps that could help you stay accountable.
Falling off the wagon every so often is expected, so just acknowledge that it happened and learn from the experience. Try and identify when you’re having the hardest time with your routine, and how you could address those issues. And remember that when you feel the most like giving up you’re likely to have an important breakthrough. Continue pursuing your new habit for the sake of the habit itself and let your doubts come and go. Once the habit becomes permanent, you won’t be able to remember why it was so hard in the beginning.
Creating healthy habits is the best thing you can do for yourself. Having habits that keep you healthy will make living a happy life a lot more effortless. Plus, you won’t have to tell as many fibs at your yearly physicals! Keep your eye on the prize and remember that all this hard work will be worth it in the end.