How to Start Healthy Habits

A healthy person begins with healthy habits.

Almost every year, without fail, I set a list of goals for myself that I want to accomplish. I reflect back on the past year and realize how much of a hot mess I am and become determined to make 2016 my year! No 2017! Ok 2018 is most definitely my year! Sound familiar? Well I don’t know what holds you back, but for me I always set my aims for perfection not wellness. I make a set of goals and convince myself that all in one year I will become as fit as Jillian Michael’s, organized as Martha Stewart, and as fierce and successful as Queen B ( Beyonce btw 😉 ). Yet often our goals fail because we fail to create sustainable, manageable, and realistic healthy habits.

Rome wasn’t built in a day ladies. Not even Oprah has her life that together my friends.  Before you get super down about all “work” you need to do on yourself, take a moment to recognize all of the healthy habits and rituals you already have in place in your life.

-Do you brush your teeth every morning? Your dentist would be proud girl!

-Do you make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep?  That’s way better than the average American.

– Do you have an apple every morning for breakfast? You know what they say… an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

I think you get my point. Habits make up our entire life! So make sure you recognize the healthy habits you already have in your life and begin to build off of those behaviors.

New year shouldn’t be about unattainable perfection but instead about new healthy habits.

The road to resolutions begins with health habits.

I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit, but what about a good one? How long does it take to begin forming a new healthy habit?

Sadly, I don’t believe there is an exact time or frame for everyone. Building new healthy habits isn’t a one size fits all approach but a highly individualized process!

Remember that your new healthy habit is for you alone. Don’t be tempted to compare your journey to someone else, who has already easily mastered this habit. This is your health journey, not theirs.

So the first step is PICK A HABIT YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO!

So many people set these new intentions but they have no desire to do them. It’s like saying you want to add the habit of eating broccoli to your daily diet, but you hate broccoli. You are doomed for failure. Before you decide on a new habit make sure you actually want to do it, will enjoy it, and it will benefit your whole well-being.

Know what you want to start? Then let’s get going sisters! Follow these 8 steps below and you will be on your way to healthy habit in no time!


8 Steps to a New Healthy Habit

 

  1. Start Small- When adding a new healthy habit, it is important to start small. Don’t make a plan that feels unreachable. Habits are easily buildable so start small and work up.
  2. Visualize your Goal- Whenever you add a habit it’s important to know what you are working towards. If you are trying to become more physically fit than all your new habits should begin pointing towards your fitness goals. When you know why you are adding in new routines and habits it is 100% easier to maintain them! Whenever you don’t feel like getting to the gym try to visualize what you want to achieve. Picture how you will feel after you work out. Recall the benefits and positive emotions that go along with your workout. Remind yourself that you will feel stronger, more energetic, and motivated after a workout, and if you don’t you will feel lethargic and sluggish. Envisioning your intentions and aims helps reinforce daily habits!
  3. Identify obstacles and roadblocks to success- Every path to success is going to have a few obstacles. Whenever you are building a new habit make sure to identify what tends to delay or prevent your success, and plan ahead of time how you can hurdle those obstacles.
  4. Preplan your success- A helpful way to overcome roadblocks is to plan ahead of time ways to thwarts life’s obstacles, and motivate yourself for success. For example, if you are trying to eat healthier but always struggle on longs busy days away from home, you can preplan your success by having healthy snacks ready to go at work or in your car. Perhaps you lack motivation to get to the gym after work? Preplan your success by having your workout bag and shoes already in your car so you have no excuse! Sometimes life happens, but when you preplan and eliminate excuses you from a habit much faster and easier.
  5. Stick to the Routine- Some people think routine is boring but studies show that people who have a consistent routine in their daily life are happier, healthier, and more emotionally and socially balanced! So when you are implementing a new habit make sure to stick to a routine. If it’s your intention is to read your bible daily, make it part of a set routine. Read the bible at the same time and same place almost every day. This routine helps you to make the habit solidified and nonnegotiable. Don’t leave your habits up to chance, because you will inevitably find and excuse to not do them. If a habit is part of your routine and you skip that step you will feel off. Imagine a day without coffee in your morning routine? NO THANKS! Well your morning devotion will soon become an invaluable part of your routine. A part that you just wouldn’t dream about skipping!
  6. Reinforce your habits with rewards- Bad habits stick because the negative habits often elicit a positive feeling or reward to the person, even if it isn’t good for them. So it is only natural that when a person is forming a healthy habit they should learn to reward themselves. When you are building a new habit first identify the natural rewards that accompany that habit. Second, add an external incentive to your new habit. For example, when you work out the natural reward is the endorphins and energy you will receive immediately after the workout. To reinforce that natural reward, it can be helpful to add an additional incentive like a yummy chocolate protein shake or fruit smoothie immediately following your accomplished habit! Reward your routine! This reward system will help your mind positively associate the new habit with pleasure.
  7. Add 1 habit at a time- Start with one habit at a time. When you try to add too many new habits at once, you end up with multiple failed habits instead of one successful one. Start by picking your goals. What do you want to improve? Fitness? Faith? Work ethic? Organization? When you have identified your target start by implementing a small tangible habit to add to your routine, and begin building off each new habit. Before long you will be on your way a healthier life!
  8. Create a support system- The quickest road to failure is the road you travel alone! If you’re serious about building healthy habits make sure you have friends and family supporting you every step of the way. Not only can your friends and family offer accountability but they will be constant reminder of why you started this healthy habit in the first place.

Starting a healthy habit can be accomplished. Remember sisters that now new habit can’t be formed over night. Set your intentions and be patient with yourself.

 Don’t be a slave to your health be an advocate for it. 

Stay Radiant <3

Erica

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