Humans are creatures of habit. We tend to stick to a certain routine and follow some patterns every day. However, building healthy habits sometimes seems like a very challenging task. That probably happens because we find it difficult to change our current routine and because we set our goals too high.
So, how can we efficiently build healthy habits?
Take a look at the tips below:
1. Start Small
One of the most common mistakes people do when trying to make lifestyle changes is setting their goals too high. All the new changes soon become overwhelming and increase the desire to give up.
Therefore, instead of trying to make radical changes overnight, start small. Experts advise us to break down an ambitious goal into smaller, more achievable ones that we build over long periods of time. These are called micro-habits.
For example, you might want to wake up earlier. Instead of setting your alarm for three hours earlier, try to wake up 15 minutes earlier in the first few days. Then, in the next week, you can set your alarm for half an hour earlier. This way, in a few weeks you will manage to wake up at the desired time, but your body will be able to adjust more easily.
2. Make a plan
The first things you should do are setting your goals, identifying the habits you want to include in your life, and making time for them in your daily routine.
It’s very important to set realistic goals. Be as specific as possible. Then, decide what habits you need to include in your life so that you work towards achieving your goals. As mentioned before, drastic changes won’t work, so you need to think about the small steps you can take towards your goals.
Once you’ve done this, think about how the new goals will fit into your daily routine. To make sure that you stick to them, create a clear schedule for these activities and avoid skipping or postponing them.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to building habits. Research shows that forming desired habits requires the specific behavior to be carried out repeatedly in the presence of the same contextual cues. Therefore, the more you repeat an action, the more natural it will fit into your routine.
You can start by adding new activities to your morning routine. Doing these first thing in the morning will make them more unlikely to be skipped or postponed.
Also, whenever you feel like giving up, remember that it will get easier in time and that you are ultimately working towards changing your life for the best.
4. Find Pleasure in It
The best way to build and stick to new habits is by finding something enjoyable about them.
Let’s say you want to exercise more, but you don’t really enjoy going to the gym. There are many ways to make it more pleasant. For example, you could listen to an audiobook while working out, if that’s something you like.
Alternatively, you could try another sport, like yoga, dance, or anything else. You’ll most likely find another activity that involves exercising but does not require going to the gym.
Lastly, you can bring a friend with you. Activities tend to be more fun when you do them with a friend.
5. Try “Temptation Bundling”
Temptation bundling consists in linking an action you want to do with an action you have to do. In other words, you should do something you enjoy while also doing something you need to do.
For example, you might want to make a habit out of performing household chores, like ironing or folding clothes, but those are activities you don’t enjoy. How about you also listen to a podcast or watch your favorite TV show while doing that? Doing this will significantly increase the chances that you don’t postpone or give up on your household chores. Plus, the activity will become much more enjoyable.
So, how can you get started with temptation bundling?
First of all, make a list of the activities that bring you pleasure and one with the things you tend to procrastinate on. Then, see how you can combine the activities from the two lists.
6. Quit Unhealthy Habits
While healthy habits might be challenging to build, unhealthy habits are even more difficult to quit.
However, things might get easier if you swap an unhealthy habit for a better one. This well, it will be less likely for you to return to your old routine.
For instance, you might want to get into the habit of reading more. At the same time, you might want to quit using your phone before going to sleep. The best thing to do is to start reading before sleep instead of scrolling down on social media.
The most important thing when developing healthy habits is to take it slow and to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Take it one small step at a time and see how you evolve in time.
What healthy habits are you trying to add to your healthy routine? Join the Beautiful You community and share your experiences with other amazing women.