Top Tips To Build Healthy Habits
Lots of us are setting goals to live a healthier life by making changes like drinking more water, getting into an exercise routine or going to bed earlier. Building, and sticking to those new habits can be tricky though. Try these tips to help you ditch the bad habits and build ew, healthy ones.
Know Your Habits
Things you do regularly, like brushing your teeth or starting the day with a coffee, become habits. Repetitive behaviour can affect your brain in a way that creates a habit, which then become almost automatic. Pay attention to the things you do regularly, and which things are good and which are bad.
Look for patterns and triggers for unhealthy habits. Perhaps you accept a cigarette while you’re drinking, or find yourself eating unhealthy snacks when you watch TV in the evening. Disrupt these patterns to interrupt the habit.
Make A Plan
Set small, reasonable goals, with specific actions to help you meet them. For example, if you buy a snack from the work vending machine every afternoon when you make a drink, find a way to beat that choice. Change the time of your drink break, and bring a healthy snack from home to help you beat the snack buying habit.
Think about what you’ll need to meet your goals. Do you need to clear your cupboards of unhealthy snacks? Do you need to buy a water bottle for your desk? Try this website for ideas of what tools you might need.
Tell your friends and family what you’re trying to do. It’s easier to form good habits if you have support. You could ask them to join you, or at least hold you accountable so you stay on track.
Plan for obstacles. What could get in the way of your goals? If you know, for example, you always drink too much when you have a stressful day at work, think about better ways to handle stress so your healthy habits aren’t derailed.
Stay On Track
Doing something good for yourself can feel very rewarding at times, and almost impossible to manage at others. Try and catch any negative thoughts as they happen, and turn them into more productive ones.
Journaling can be helpful, whether on paper, a mobile app or your laptop. Note down things like your daily diet, your exercise routine, stress levels or sleep patterns. Make a note of whatever habit it is you’re trying to make, so you can visually see the progress you’re making. The more you practise your self-control, the better you’ll get at it.
Think About The Future
Resisting an impulse can be hard. The human mind can struggle to value the benefits of waiting or delaying something we want over the satisfaction of having it now. This can easily trip us into eating or drinking too much, overspending or other risky decisions.
Learn to combat this by imagining a future positive experience or reward from your new habits. This will help you to make better decisions. Focus on how changing a habit might heal your body or mind, or enhance your life.