Did you know that it takes 21 days to create a habit? Some people may look at that number and think it is really small while others may think that is a really long time. Many people think that it takes closer to 14 days to create a habit. That is why so many people think that diets and exercise plans fail. Around the 14 day mark, it can be really easy to feel as though you have things down and it’s going well, but that you need a break from your new “habit”.
The reality is that you need to stick with something for almost a month before it becomes second nature in your routine. If you are looking for healthy habits to start, you have to begin with healthy habit-forming practices. You may look at the habits of healthy people and think that they have it all together. But really, they are just in the middle of building their healthy habits. No matter what kind of healthy habits you are looking to start, try by starting with these six tips to help build (and stick to) healthy habits for your body, mind, and even your life or career.
Set Both Long Term and Short Term Goals
If you are looking to start living a healthier lifestyle, it is important to take a look at what your life currently looks like and where you want to change. This could be anything from losing weight, taking natural supplements daily, or getting a promotion at work. The best way to start developing healthy habits is to take stock of where you are starting. After all, you can’t make progress if you don’t know where the starting line is.
Start by generalizing your goals into broad categories. Look at your health goals, personal goals, and professional goals. If you do not have goals in all areas, that’s okay, this is just to help you get a view of what you are dealing with. In each category that you want to work on, identify long-term goals. This can be anything that you want to achieve in the next three to five years, or further. These should be broad generalizations that give you a direction for smaller goals.
Examples of long-term goals include things like: fit into a size 6 dress, get a promotion, or buy a house. You don’t need to focus on specifics yet. If you want to, you can create a vision board to hang on your wall or simply a document on your computer with these goals to remind yourself what you are working towards as you work on short-term goals.
Then, break this down to your short-term goals. This is anything that you want to achieve in the next year or two, or even in the next few months. Think of these as steps you are going to take to reach your long-term goals. Remember to make these goals attainable and be realistic. Examples of short-term goals include eating healthier, starting to take natural supplements daily, exercising weekly, reaching the top ten percent sales in your team, or reaching a 700 credit score.
Take Small Attainable Steps Toward Your Goals
Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve, you have to make sure you have a way to actually get there. Too often, people think that they can jump into things and work on all their goals at once. They end up feeling burnt out in a few weeks before giving up. One of the most important habits of healthy people is making your goals attainable.
A good way to determine what is attainable is simply to be honest with yourself. Break your goal down to the smallest possible steps you can. Then, you can take your time and make sure you really master each step before moving on.
Let’s take a look at the goal of taking natural supplements every day. This may not seem like a difficult goal to achieve and yet many people struggle with it. So start by asking, what can I do to start taking supplements every day? Answer: 1. budget supplements into your monthly spending plan and actually go buy them; 2. Set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to take supplements.
For some people this may be enough, for others, they may need to break it down further. Ask, will I actually do this? Be honest. If the answer is no, think of new ways to incorporate supplements into your diet such as drinking tea instead of coffee or using a capsule you can break open into a smoothie. Keep breaking it down until the answer is yes.
Pair Activities To Make Them More Enjoyable
Another way to make difficult tasks easier to achieve is to pair them with something you find enjoyable. This could be watching your favorite show while you stretch before bed, or pairing natural supplements with your favorite healthy snack. At work, it might be selling your least favorite product with your favorite product or completing your least favorite tasks right after lunch. This conditions your brain to experience a reward by completing seemingly difficult tasks.
Get Away From The Group Mindset: Peer Pressure is Real
People tend to associate peer pressure with someone pushing you to try something. But what about people doing things that you know you shouldn’t. Don’t give up on your goals just because the people around you do not share them. Your goals are your goals and no one else's.
Celebrate Wins and Learn From Failure
Keep a positive attitude as you consider healthy habits to start. Failure is nothing more than an opportunity to learn and every win is a win to celebrate, no matter how small. Find a way to celebrate your successes, and keep doing it.
Update Your Goals Periodically
Remember to keep tracking your goals and update them every few months. Your life is going to come with changes so it makes sense that your goals will too. Don’t get stuck chasing goals that don’t align with your life anymore.
With these six tips, you will have the tools you need to begin building healthy habits that you can actually stick to!
Let us know in the comments if these tips helped you somehow.