3 Steps To Build Healthier Habits That Last
Each January, millions of people resolve to create healthier lives for themselves. A quarter of Americans declared this on January 1st. They spent the first few weeks exercising and eating right.
Then, they stopped. Perhaps they injured themselves or got sick. Maybe bad weather prevented them from going to the gym. They might have eaten poorly one or two times. No matter the excuse, their resolutions to build healthier habits stopped.
This doesn’t make for a healthier population. Instead, it makes those who gave up feeling bad. As a result, they return to poor habits they resolved to get rid of. Another year passes, and they make the same decisions to do better. It becomes a vicious circle.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to build healthier habits that last beyond the first few weeks of a new year. There are three of them.
1. Develop Plans Ahead Of Time
Making inroads toward a healthier lifestyle isn’t much different than executing a business project. You must outline your goals and the ways to achieve them. If you don’t want to create this plan, you’ll need someone else to help you.
For instance, you have a goal to lose weight, so you don’t have to take so many pills each morning. You need a personalized nutrition plan to follow, so you don’t stumble. If you can’t prepare one on your own, then you might need to look into an organization like Kenzai to assist you.
Don’t Go It Alone
People don’t continue on the path toward healthier habits because they do it on their own. These individuals don’t participate in group exercise sessions or meet to discuss their nutritional issues with others. Since they don’t have a support system in place, they quit when things get tough.
The primary way to correct this is to pair up with another person. A friend or relative might be going through the same process as you. So, rather than building better habits separately, get together for exercise or healthy meals.
The benefits are twofold. First, you have someone to bounce frustrations and successes off of. Second, there’s someone to encourage you, or vice-versa, during the most challenging parts of this habit transformation. Therefore, you’ll continue to move forward toward success.
As mentioned at the start, there are several reasons why people stop building healthier habits. These are simply another form of quitting when it gets too harsh or when things start to get boring. While they provide temporary relief, the long-term effects can be low self-esteem, depression, and continued health problems.
To change your habits, you also need to shift your thought processes. Each time that little voice tells you to give up, you must declare you’re victorious and won’t be a slave to laziness. Each time you urge not to go to the gym, you need to turn off the TV and exercise.
This doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym seven days a week and eat kale for all your meals. Frankly, this can cause fatigue. Even if it means you walk around the neighborhood and eat a salad instead of fries, find ways to overcome quitting.
The more you shun the terrible thoughts, the easier it is to build new neural paths in your brain. These quickly direct you to healthier habits while staying away from the slower networks that lead to quitting thoughts.
This might be hard at first if you’ve always gone the default route of giving up. Still, each time you shun those thoughts, you add another layer to the construction of healthier habits. Yes, you’ll stumble on occasion. Yet, those will happen less frequently as time goes on.
The above suggestions are but a small sample of ways to build healthier habits that last. Overall, consistency and commitment are the keys to success. Maintaining a belief that it can be done will result in you seeing measurable changes to your body and health.
Don’t set a goal of losing 100 pounds in two months. Not only will this be hard to do, but it will also lead to health issues that could put you in the hospital. Instead, take it slow and keep getting up each time you hit an obstacle.