We’re all creatures of habit! Whether you pack your own lunch, clean your kitchen, or comb your hair, you follow the same patterns day in and day out. With so much monotony, it’s almost too easy to get comfortable in your own routine. So, when you want to change a habit, why is it so difficult? Habits are acquired patterns that you follow so regularly that they almost become involuntary. They are incredibly powerful because your environment is arranged in such a way to support that habit. If you’re looking to kick a bad habit and switch it out for something healthier, you will have to change up your environment and take action in order to see positive results. That’s why we’re talking all about how you can develop healthier habits! Changing your habits will take work, patience, and time, but if you’re diligent, you’ll start to notice changes over time. Read on to learn more about what you can do to develop healthier habits.
How to Develop Healthier Habits
1. Know your habits. The things that you do regularly can become habits, whether you like it or not! Whether you leave your dirty dishes in the sink, sleep until 11 AM, or have a few drinks at dinner, they are all habits (and in this case, pretty unhealthy ones!). The more you repeat these habits, the harder it can be to break them. So, before you make any changes, be aware of what your habits are and how often you catch yourself doing them.
2. Set SMART goals. If you want to make a change, be realistic with how you plan to go about it. That’s why setting SMART goals is a good guideline for how you can be successful! SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely—all of which are important things to take into consideration when setting a goal. For example, if you want to drink more water, ask yourself what SMART goals you can set that will allow you to succeed. Starting too ambitious can, in fact, hinder you, so start small!
3. Write it down. Keep yourself accountable by writing down some goals. When you keep a record for how you want to develop a healthier habit, you can track your progress and see how you’re doing. This shows your growth, as well as ways that you need to improve. Referring to the water example from earlier; if you record how much water you drink every day, you will be able to tell if you’re on track to meeting your goal or not. It will also help keep you accountable!
4. Be proactive. To make a healthier habit stick, try adding something into your current routine that will make sure you follow through. For example, if you want to exercise more, find a buddy that will hold you accountable to go to the gym; if you don’t keep in contact with that person, he or she will continue to message you to show up and encourage you to work out with them. If this person is always reminding you to go, you will find it much harder to ignore your fitness goal!
5. Think long-term. When you focus on how making a positive, healthful change can impact your body for the long run, it helps keep you motivated. Instead of saying you will reduce stress levels, think of it as reducing stress so that you can improve your relationships over time. When you think of how a healthier habit can affect you in the long run, it will help you stick to it and maintain those positive habits.
6. Be patient. The key to establishing healthier habits doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be patient with yourself to create long-lasting, sustainable changes. If you’re consistent and practice your new healthier habit every day, things will get easier with time! Remember; it takes around 21 days to form a new habit, so be patient, give yourself some grace, and get excited when your patience pays off.
What are some ways that you build healthier habits? We would love to know!
For other health and wellness content, check out these other blogs: