Many of us struggle with making healthy habits stick and often find ourselves falling back into old habits. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing five tips for forming sustainable healthy habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine. We’ll be sharing some psychological facts to back up our advice and keep you motivated along the way. Whether you’re looking to start exercising regularly, eating healthier, or simply improving your overall well-being, these tips will help you on your journey.
First things first, let’s talk about what exactly we mean by “sustainable healthy habits.” These are habits that you can maintain over the long term, rather than short-term changes that quickly fall by the wayside. Sustainable healthy habits are those that you can incorporate into your daily routine without feeling like you’re making drastic changes to your life.
1. Start small and build up gradually
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to form healthy habits is trying to do too much too soon. It’s important to start small and build up gradually. For example, if you want to start exercising regularly, don’t jump right into an intense workout routine. Instead, start by taking a 10-minute walk every day and gradually increase the time and intensity of your workouts.
Psychological Fact: According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit. So, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t become automatic right away. Keep at it and it will eventually become a part of your routine.
2. Make a plan
Having a plan is essential when it comes to forming sustainable healthy habits. Set specific, achievable goals for yourself and make a plan for how you’re going to achieve them. For example, if you want to start eating healthier, make a meal plan for the week and stick to it.
Psychological Fact: A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who don’t. So, grab a pen and paper and start planning!
3. Hold yourself accountable
Accountability is key when it comes to forming sustainable healthy habits. Tell someone about your goals and ask them to hold you accountable. You can also use apps or other tools to track your progress and keep yourself on track.
Psychological Fact: According to a study published in the American Psychological Association, social support can increase the likelihood of achieving health behaviour change. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from those around you.
4. Find enjoyment in the process
Forming sustainable healthy habits shouldn’t be a chore. Find activities that you enjoy and make them a part of your routine. For example, if you hate running, don’t force yourself to do it. Instead, find an activity that you enjoy, such as hiking, dancing, or swimming.
Psychological Fact: Research has shown that when we enjoy an activity, we are more likely to stick with it. So, find activities that bring you joy and make them a part of your routine.
5. Celebrate your successes
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way. Recognize the progress you’ve made and give yourself credit for the hard work you’ve put in. Celebrating your successes will help keep you motivated and encourage you to keep going.
Psychological Fact: According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, celebrating small wins can increase motivation and lead to greater success in achieving goals. So, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
In conclusion, forming sustainable healthy habits is a powerful way to improve our health and overall well-being. By starting small, being consistent, making it enjoyable, creating a cue, and tracking our progress, we can increase our chances of forming habits that stick around for the long term. It’s also important to remember to be kind and understanding to ourselves when we slip up, as self-compassion can actually help us form habits.
Psychological facts have shown that our brains love routine and consistency, and by creating positive associations with healthy habits, such as enjoying the behaviour and experiencing a sense of accomplishment when tracking progress, we can increase our motivation to continue forming these habits.
Ultimately, forming sustainable healthy habits is not just about willpower or motivation. It’s about creating a positive and enjoyable lifestyle that supports our health and well-being in the long run. So, take small steps, be consistent, and enjoy the journey towards a healthier, happier you!