How to Start Forming Healthy Habits
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Forming new habits can be much harder than you expect, especially when it comes to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, it’s just as important to actually stick with the new habits after making the changes to your daily routine. Here is a list of simple but effective tips that might help you with this task.
Start with Small Healthy Habits
Setting small goals is much more likely going to result in success than starting with inadequately big ones. For example, try running for 10-15 minutes a day before taking up longer distances. Or replace an unhealthy snack with fruits or vegetables - a recent Stanford study has shown that small portions of food can actually be more satisfying than large ones. Just don’t forget to gradually introduce bigger changes over time.
Decide on Your Motivation
Before setting up a healthy habit, it’s important to figure out the reason for your goal. Jonathan Fader Ph.D., a sports psychologist, says that knowing the reason behind working out can make achieving your goal easier. Examine your values and make sure that you’re doing it because of something you care about.
Try to Make Healthy Habits Fun
Healthy lifestyle changes don’t have to be too strict or boring. Try to find various ways to make your new habits more enjoyable. When you want to go on a run or do yoga, try exercising with a partner. Or, if you’re cooking healthy food, try adding more flavor to your meals with spices or seasonings.
Set Up Reminders
It’s perfectly natural to forget about things, as it’s simply the way that human memory works. Place various reminders and triggers for your habits every day, like a phone alarm or something as simple as a note on your desk. These little reminders do not guarantee success, but they increase your chances at it. Regularly repeating an activity is what makes it a habit in the first place.
Try taking temptations out of your path when you can. It’s easier to be in control of your situation when there’s minimal chance of distractions. Get rid of excessive junk food in your kitchen, and avoid the areas with unhealthy food in the bakery aisle when you’re at the grocery store.
Keep The Momentum
When you are consistent with your plans and routine, it increases your chances at turning your activities into healthy habits. Keep a calendar of your daily routine and don’t skip any healthy activities. After using this technique for one or two months, you may find out that your new habits are already formed. The research from University College of London shows that on average, it takes 66 days to form a habit.
Learn The Benefits
Educate yourself on the various benefits of the healthy change you’re trying to make, as it can often help you find motivation. For example, losing weight reduces the chance of developing diabetes, and keeping a healthy diet can boost your brain activity.
Break Old Unhealthy Habits
Research has shown that 40% of our regular activities are performed in the same way every day. This means that before forming new habits, it can be critical to get rid of some old ones first. Every time you break your usual unhealthy behavior, it creates an opportunity to set up healthy habits instead.