“Practice healthy habits” is a phrase very commonly seen and heard across various health blogs, books, podcasts and videos. We all know the general healthy habits include exercise, eating good food, and avoiding harmful substances. On the surface, it all makes sense. After all, why shouldn’t one work toward a healthier lifestyle and better health?
However, more than simply practicing healthy habits it’s also important to know why they should be practiced.
A behaviour that benefits you physically, emotionally, and mentally and adds a healthy balance to your life is a healthy habit. It improves your overall well being and boosts your health.
When it comes to developing healthy habits, small decisions and changes add up over time. One cannot build a healthy habit without changing their mindset. But, if you’re willing to make those changes to improve your health, the impact can be far-reaching irrespective of your age or physical ability.
After a habit is developed, one must also be willing to put in the effort to build on it continuously.
Here are some simple ways you can sustain your healthy habits:
Make A Plan
It’s very difficult to change everything at once, so it helps if you set smaller and more manageable tasks for yourself. For example: running everyday for 20 minutes is easier to achieve than deciding to run a marathon. Precision is your friend. Be specific about your goals. If you’re thinking of eating healthier, write down the diet that you want to stick to. Making a plan gives you a solid starting point as well as guiding you towards your goals.
This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind. While there’s no harm in setting an ambitious goal, it’s important to not set an unrealistic one. At best, you’ll end up changing it; at worst, you’ll set yourself up for failure. So, it’s important to be realistic and true to yourself. If your goals feel restrictive or too stressful to attain, they will be difficult to accomplish.
Start As Soon As You Can
No time like the present! Take any small step towards your goal. If your goal is to wake up early and meditate, focus on waking up early first. If your goal is to add more vegetables to your diet, start small by adding cucumbers or carrots to your breakfast. Once you get there, everything else will follow.
Ask For Support
You’ll find more success if you have others to support and help you in this journey. Most times, having others to share experiences with gives you more determination towards your goals. One way to get support is to hire a personal coach. However, another way to get support is to ask a friend to join you in your activity, or join a group class with others who have the same goals as you.
If you’d rather do it alone, you can always ask a friend to help keep you accountable for the first few weeks. Whichever option you choose, it always helps to have support at least in the beginning.
Use A Rewards System
While developing a healthy habit may be a reward in itself, to motivate yourself better have a system in place that will reward you for every goal accomplished. Think of it as a gold star system in school. Teachers give their well performing students a gold star which encourages the children to keep performing better. Having a tangible proof of every accomplishment will give you the motivation and determination to continue working towards your goals.
The trick is to reward yourself for the first small goals till your habit becomes a part of your lifestyle.
Get Enough Sleep
Fatigue and low energy levels can negatively impact your health. Poor sleep quality is also attributed to high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. To improve sleep quality, set yourself a bedtime and stick to it. Avoid drinking caffeine or energy drinks before bed, limit your afternoon napping, and create a healthy sleep environment. Prioritizing your sleep is the best way to ensure that you have the energy and the motivation to accomplish your goals.
Keep Assessing Yourself
This doesn’t mean that you keep checking if you’ve come closer towards your goals. Rather, it is a way of making sure that you’re on the right track with your decisions and choices. As you work towards cultivating healthier habits, it’s important to take note of how you feel while you’re incorporating them in your life. Are they fitting in with your current lifestyle? Have they improved your mental well-being? Are you finding them easy to maintain or boring and predictable? All these questions will help you figure out if there are any changes to be made.
The point of a healthy habit is to help you be a healthier you.Trying to make changes to your lifestyle habits is tough but once you make the decision of adopting a healthier lifestyle, it’ll benefit you in the long run.
On your journey towards a healthy lifestyle, if you feel that you may want to consult a dietitian or a physiotherapist, TABIIB can help you find the right one. Visit the website to know more.