We all know that it’s important to make healthy choices but sometimes it can feel really difficult to develop the healthy habits we wish we had. It can feel even more difficult to start something new in the midst of the changes and disruptions happening all around us to our daily routines, habits and schedules.
While there’s a lot we aren’t in control of right now, we do have the power to use this time to develop a healthy habit or two that will serve us well as life gets back to normal. If you’re ready to start drinking more water, meditating daily, moving your body more or making sure you actually get all the fruits and vegetables you need, read on to discover the keys to creating a new healthy habit!
1. Figure out where you are now
Before you start trying to implement change in your life it’s important to have a realistic picture of where you are now. Spend a few days taking stock of your current habits and thinking about opportunities throughout your day to make change.
Keep a log or journal of the when and why of a habit you’re trying to break and think through opportunities to add something positive into your day.
2. Make a plan
Making a plan is an important step to adopting a new habit. After taking stock of where you currently are and noting opportunities to do something different, sit down and make a step by step plan that you feel like you’ll be able to follow.
If you want to start running each morning, for example, consider whether you’ll start all at once or start by running once or twice a week and gradually increasing the number of sessions as you go.
3. Make it happen!
Often, the toughest part of starting any new habit is taking the first step. Once you have a plan it’s important to get started right away! Don’t worry if it doesn’t feel natural at first, it’s common to experience some discomfort when you’re breaking an old habit or starting a new one!
Just because you made a plan and got started doesn’t mean that everything will go perfectly right from the beginning. Checking in with yourself or a loved one about how your plan is going is a good way to evaluate if you need to update your plan or stay the course. It’s okay to deviate from your plan to make change as long as it’s ultimately in service of getting you where you want to go.
5. Be patient
Building a new habit takes time so be sure to be patient with yourself as you move through the different steps and work through your plan. Hold yourself accountable for reaching your goals but give yourself grace and patience too!
Building a new healthy habit can be a real challenge but, with hard work and persistence, it’s one that will pay off in the long run!