It’s about that time of year where we start to look back at the goals we set in January. Have we lived up to the expectations of our resolutions? Making changes to our lifestyles can be hard to maintain, especially if you set an unattainable time table. Instead, it’s essential to create goals based upon habit creations, which allows for an understanding of time and attention. Here are some tips for creating healthy habits that last.
Start with small wins
It can be overwhelming to try and create a whole new routine with new habits, and when you are overwhelmed, it seems easier to give up. Starting with small tasks can ease you into some larger lifestyle changes by attaching new habits to existing ones. For example, if you want to start being more health-conscious, try adding a multivitamin to your diet. Incorporating a small but impactful change like that to your morning routine, such as right after breakfast, makes for a quick win!
From there, you can work on other areas of your health, like going for a run around the neighborhood every morning before breakfast or after work. Embedding these new tasks into something you already do habitually will make for easy integration.
Find ways to manage stress
Stress can be a major trigger when trying to create healthy habits. When you feel overwhelmed by work or relationships, it can be easy to fall back into unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking or overeating. These bad habits, coupled with stress, can lead to severe health problems like high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease.
Finding ways to tackle stress will help your health and help you on your journey to a healthier you; activities such as exercise, yoga, and guided meditation are just some of the things you can do to combat the stresses of your daily life.
Create a reward system
When creating goals for ourselves, whether it be to lose weight, quit smoking, or exercise more, it’s important to understand that it’s rare to have immediate results. The desire for effortless and fast results often leads to abandoning goals after a few weeks.
It’s critical to stick to your goals, and a great way to do so is to create an incentive. Adding a reward system to your journey can help you stay motivated. The rewards can range from seeing a new movie, indulging in a glass of your favorite wine, or even buying something you’ve been eyeing for some time. It’s best to make the reward match the task; that way, you can appreciate the milestones you reach even more.
Use technology to your benefit
Technology can be a great asset in trying to create some lasting healthy habits. Using your phone to create reminders or alarms for when you are supposed to go to the gym or take your vitamins will help you create the routine you have been striving for. If you’re looking to develop and maintain a healthier diet, consider downloading an app for a wholesome and insightful weight loss program.
Having a resource that provides you with knowledge on what foods will get you closer to your goal, and which ones won’t, will help give you the building blocks to a healthy and sustainable diet.
Hold yourself accountable
Creating a new habit and going on that journey by yourself can be exhilarating, but at the same challenging, because there is only so much self-motivation, you can do alone. You hit the ground running on your own, and that’s something worth celebrating! But don’t think you must go it alone the whole way. Consider establishing an ally or accountability partner; this could be your best friend, a coworker, or a group of relative strangers in your fitness class.
Having others around you experiencing the same journey, whether it be fitness or quitting a habit like smoking, can help motivate you to continue. Sharing your successes and shortcomings can help create a strong union amongst the group, and can provide the encouragement you all may need to continue.
Remember, the journey toward new habits is a marathon, not a sprint. With steady progress and small wins along the way, you can reach new horizons with your journey. Do you have any healthy habits you have wanted to start? Share them with me in the comment section.
A clinical sexologist and psychotherapist. From sex/intimacy, personal growth, and relationships, I am here to help you every step of the way.