Healthy habits can help you live a better, longer life. However, sticking to healthy habits isn’t easy! For better or worse, habits are a big part of life. In fact, 40% of your actions are not conscious decisions but habits. So today we’re sharing 8 ways you can stick to healthy habits in 2022. By the end of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a better you!
1. Start with Your “Why”
Dive into why you are making changes. Ask yourself, what is the primary driver behind the change? Are you wanting to work out because you want to have a healthier life? Do you want to practice mindfulness to help reduce or manage your stress? Always keep your “why” top of mind as you go through the journey of starting healthy habits and making real change. It’ll serve as the motivation you need.
2. Understand Current Habits
Before you can make changes, you need to understand what you are currently doing. As we mentioned above, habits are a way for your brain to save energy. You might not even realize some of the habits you have.
For example, if you are trying to eat healthy observe when you reach for choices that are not good for you. Is it when you are watching TV or bored? Does stress trigger unhealthy choices? If you pinpoint when you make unhealthy choices, you will begin to understand the triggers behind your current habits and can work to overcome them.
3. Start Small
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are healthy habits! Like any large goal, take it one step at a time. Break down your changes into manageable steps. Make small changes and add more as you go.
For example, if you want to run a 5k but haven’t before, consider breaking it down into smaller goals. Start by running a mile then increase it as you achieve the micro-goals. Eventually, your small changes and healthy habits will snowball into big results!
4. Get Rid of Temptations
Temptation can be hard, especially when you are starting out on your journey to a healthier you. If you find yourself tempted, try to eliminate triggers.
For example, if you want to eat more plant-based foods, start replacing your pantry items with only plant-based options. This way when you go to grab something to eat only options that support your habit are there.
Another example could be if you are trying to reduce screen time. Set limits on how long you can use your device before it will lock. Apps like Apple's Screen Time will allow you to set limits on any app and will lock the app once you have hit the daily time.
5. Plan Time to Work on Habits
How often have you used the excuse “I’m too busy” when you give up on a healthy habit? Don’t let this common pitfall stop you from achieving your goals. Instead, block out time every day to work towards your goals. This could mean blocking time in your schedule for a daily workout, time to read, create better oral hygiene routines, or whatever your habit is. Putting time on your calendar will serve as a daily reminder this healthy habit is important and deserves your time!
6. Get a Support System
You don’t have to go it alone! Find a friend or group that will support you through your journey to a healthier you! If you have a friend that also wants to achieve healthy habits, you can share your goals and update each other on progress. Support will offer you a push when you need it, offer insight on how to get over obstacles, and be there to cheer you on!
7. Be Patient
Good things take time. According to Healthline, habits take anywhere from 18-254 days to form, with an average of 66 days. Some habits are easier to form than others, and unfortunately, there isn’t a standard process for healthy habits to stick. So, stay with it and don’t give up!
8. Reward Yourself
When you are planning your routines to create healthier habits, reward yourself for milestone achievements. For example, if your goal is to work out 5x a week, once you have successfully done this for a month, buy yourself a fitness tracker or some new workout shoes to further motivate your workouts or schedule a massage self-care time!
Now go on and start working on your healthy habits!
No matter what healthy habits you are hoping to achieve in 2022 if you apply these 8 steps, you’ll be well on your way to making them stick. Remember, even if you miss a day, think about the big picture. It’s ok to make mistakes or have off days. The important thing is that you get back up the next day and try again!
Written by Mouthwatchers, LLC Staff - January 2022