All too often, people mistake developing healthy habits as a matter of motivation. People assumed that the 6 am gym-goers and dedicated students simply have more willpower, and that’s how they get stuff done.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Creating habits that stick actually has a lot more to do with consistency than it does with motivation. You may not want to get up at 6 am and go to the gym, but if you shape your surroundings to make yourself more consistent, you’ll go anyway.
It takes just over 2 months for a behavior to become a habit. Whether you want to swap out cigarettes for a gunnpod 2000 or commit to doing ten minutes of cardio a day, here are our top tips for cultivating healthy habits that you’ll actually stick to.
1. Set a Clear Goal
The first step towards achieving your goals is establishing exactly what they are. Try to be as specific as possible with your goals to help you better visualize them.
Rather than saying ‘I want to eat more healthily’, for example, instead set a goal such as ‘I want to eat at least 6 fruits or vegetables per day.’ The more specific your goal, the easier you’ll find it to create healthy habits that help you achieve it.
2. Remove the Barriers to Your Success
As with every goal, there are barriers that get in the way of our ability to maintain healthy habits. Imagine, for example, that the thing stopping you from going for an early morning gym session is having to root around in the darkness for your gym clothing.
To remove this barrier to your ability to stick to the habit, you could get your gym clothes out and lay them on your chest of drawers the night before. That way, there’s less standing in between you and the healthy habit.
Similarly, if excessive snacking is impacting your health, make sure you always have fresh fruit in the house. By doing so, you remove the barrier of not having anything healthy to eat.
3. Stack Habits
James Clear, an author of the popular habit-building guide book, Atomic Habits, recommends something called habit stacking. This is when you take advantage of existing habits to create new ones.
Take teeth brushing, for example. You do this habit automatically and don’t have to think too much about it. So next time you go to brush your teeth, simply stack another habit on top, and you’ll find it much easier to do.
4. Keep it Simple
Too many people set themselves up for failure by trying to achieve too many goals in a short period of time. This is a common mistake when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions when people set their standards too high.
Instead of committing to going to the gym every day, for example, (which you’ll quickly tire of), commit to going a minimum of twice a week instead. By keeping the habits you want to cultivate simple and straightforward, you’ll be more likely to stick to them.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.