Whether you are planning to eat better, lose those extra pounds, or start with an all-new exercise regimen, you may have a newfound desire to improve your overall health. And to fulfil that desire, you need to build some healthy habits.
That said, forming new and healthy habits may be the most overwhelming task. Do you know why? Well, it is because most of us try to build good habits the wrong way. We simply make bold resolutions to begin exercising or lose weight without paying attention to the steps needed to set ourselves up for achieving the goal.
In this article, we will look at some tangible ways to build good habits and change your lifestyle effectively.
What exactly makes a habit good or bad? This is an important thing that you must know the answer to. In definition, a habit is a repetitive behaviour or a routine that you might have. And the only difference between good and bad habits is whether or not it improves or diminishes your quality of life.
We all have certain goals in life. And any habit that hampers you from reaching those goals is a bad habit that must be given up. If doing so helps you get closer to your goals, it is certain that the habit is a bad one and must be replaced with a healthier one.
Once you have identified good and bad habits and looking to incorporate some healthy habits into your routine, you must be excited. But to build habits that stick, it is better to start small and master 1-2 habits first.
For instance, if you are training for a marathon, you won’t just start with a 30-mile run straightaway. You need to consider your current training level and start from there. Directly moving to the final goal may lead to injuries and burnouts. So make sure to start slowly and build healthy habits with time.
The best way to improve your lifestyle and start healthy habits is by tying it to an existing habit. For this, look for patterns in your day and see how you can connect new habits to usual routines and ensure success.
For instance, many people have a fixed morning routine where they wake up at a certain time, have breakfast, and set out to work. Now, if you want to start a new meditation practice, try to do it for 10 minutes before your breakfast every day. Or, you can try some squats while brushing your teeth in the morning.
According to a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology, the amount of time for a routine to become a habit ranges from 18 to 254 days. And the average is 66 days.
So, if you really wish to change your lifestyle and form new healthy habits, you need to stay consistent. It is advisable to start with something easy and do it regularly till it becomes a habit.
Researchers suggest that an individual is more likely to form new habits when there are no hindrances in the way. For instance, if you want to start a new habit of doing running in the morning, it is best to sleep in running clothes at night. Waking up early only to get in your running clothes before heading out may make you feel lazier and demotivated.
Alternatively, selecting an exercise that doesn’t require you to leave the house, such as squats or jumping jacks, is another easier way to form a healthy habit of exercising.
This is a significant aspect of building healthy habits. As discussed above, new habits take time to build. So to stay motivated, you must reward your success.
For instance, every time you work out, give yourself an extra 10 minutes to do whatever you think of as a reward. Remember, these rewards can be highly personalized. You just need to find something that you enjoy and attach it to your new regime.
Building new habits can go a long way towards ensuring good health and happy life. So make goals and start today. Try to stay consistent with whatever you do and the benefits shall come on their own.