Starting to add more healthy habits into your everyday life and be OVERWHELMING and can, unfortunately, lead to people giving up and resorting back to unhealthy habits.
I wanted to create a quick blog post that outlines some simple steps you can try to help make your healthy habits STICK.
Now, it's important to note that not everyone is the same. What might work for one person, may not work for the next. So when you try to incorporate these steps into your life, be kind to yourself and make adjustments as needed!
Step 1: write down your WHY
Why is it that you want to become healthier? Is it for long-term health, current condition you are dealing with, to have more energy for your kids? friends? work? Increase confidence? Try to get to the root of why it is that you are trying to incorporate these healthy habits. If you have a clear why and something you are working towards, it is more likely that you are going to achieve your goals.
Step 2: create SMART goals
After you answered your WHY, create SMART goals to help you take action.
S - Specific: This is key! You need to make sure your goal isn't too broad. For example, don't say you are going to "drink more water" but instead "I am going to drink 2-3 L water a day"
M - Measurable: How are you going to measure this? The water example is easy because you can actually measure how much water you are intaking each day.
A - Actionable: Ask yourself what the steps are you will take to reach this goal. I will fill up my water bottle before I go to bed, or I will lay out my gym clothes at night to go for a run in the morning.
R - Relevant: How realistic is your goal? Did you write down "do a HIIT workout 7 days a week" but currently don't have a workout routine? Start small and SLOWLY build on. Perhaps if your goal is working out or moving more do a mix of walking outside, lower intensity workouts and if you want, more intense ones. Start with a couple of days a week and slowly increase how much you go as you start to build your strength and stamina.
T - Time-bound: Be sure to create a timeline to your goals. For the water example, write down when you will achieve your 3L water/day goal. Perhaps week 1 is 1 L of water, week 2 is 2 L of water and by week 3 it's 3 L of water. Perhaps the timeline is shorter or longer.
Step 3: stick to 1-2 things at once
It can be so easy to get swept up in wanting to create all this positive change in your life. I get it, you're excited and you are ready to make a change NOW! But before you go crazy and try to do yoga, workout, drink more water, meditate, drink smoothies, and be able to do headstands in 1 week, step back and think about what are some easy wins.
Again, going back to the water example, this may be something that is easier for you to achieve than meditating every day. So start with the water and once that becomes a habit, add the second thing, and so on.
Step 4: Be patient
Habits can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months (and sometimes longer) to actually stick and that is assuming you are pursing it everyday.
Don't expect that it's going to be a habit after one week and then you can slack off. Mind you, give yourself grace and remember that MODERATION is key! If there is a day that you don't drink 3 L of water or workout or meditate you will be fine. Plus sometimes its actually healthier to give yourself a break from things like workouts anyways!