We are creatures of habit, which can be both a good and bad thing. While habits help us to feel comfortable and secure, they can also be detrimental to our health and wellness when they cause us to make unhealthy choices. In order to create lasting change, we must find ways to form healthy habits while still enjoying the familiar patterns that brought us comfort in the past. Below are some small steps you can take to create lifetime healthy habits:
People who start on an exercise plan or new diet often fail because they set goals that are too ambitious. Instead, focus on making small changes that you know you can stick with. For example, if your goal is to eat no sugar, try adding one extra serving of vegetables and more no-sugar-added proteins. See how you feel, and then decide if and how much you want to adjust your goal for next week. This approach will help keep your momentum going. Small steps!
Planning is key, especially if you’re looking to create healthy habits that stick. If you know what obstacles may come your way, you can plan in advance for how you’ll overcome them. You’ll also feel more confident in your commitment if you have all of your ducks in a row before starting out. The Simple Grocer is a great tool to help stock up your fridge for healthy meal planning.
Setting clear goals is important, but it’s equally important to keep them realistic. If you’re like most people, you don’t want to fail, and that fear can prevent you from taking action. To avoid feeling defeated before you even begin, keep your goals simple. Plan on small successes every day that will eventually add up to big results. For example, if your goal is weight loss—which generally requires long-term dedication—break down your goal into short-term milestones.
By starting small, we can maintain consistency and discipline. For example, instead of going for a 10-mile run every morning, you might start with just walking around the block on your lunch break—that way, you’re less likely to cancel, since it’s easier to achieve. As time goes on, though, you can make good habits into great ones by expanding your routine into something that works for you. Soon enough, exercising regularly will feel natural and effortless!
You don’t have to run 10 miles per day; you don’t have to give up your favorite soda; and you don’t have to drop 30 pounds in a month. Focus on small wins. Your overall goal might be hard, but celebrate your little victories along the way because they will help you achieve that overall goal.
If you want to make a change in your life, there’s no need to create an entirely new identity. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “In order for one plant to grow stronger and healthier than another, it doesn’t need to be continuously compared—rather, it needs more nourishment and care.” Start by focusing on one thing at a time. Once you’ve mastered that first goal or habit, move on to the next.
There’s nothing better than starting a new life habit that you can enjoy. Whether it’s running, meditation, riding your bike or learning French, there’s always something you can do to make reaching your goals more enjoyable.. Don’t burn yourself out on day one. Remember to celebrate the small goals, have fun, and never stop working on your goals to achieve a better version of you.