Do you have goals for yourself, your health, your business, or even your family that you REALLY want to make happen. You already know what you want to do, you just want to make sure that this habit sticks. How many times have you proclaimed today is the day you are going to start walking every day, or stop drinking coffee, or ditch the soda. Creating new healthy habits takes work. You didn’t get to where you are today overnight, so making positive changes also takes time.
Many challenges can pop up when we are trying to create a new habit. Maybe you are trying to get up early and take a walk before work, but then you run into a week where you need to go into work early and that disrupts the new pattern you are trying to create. Do you go back to the walk when your schedule goes back to normal?
Or are you trying to cook more at home and eating less processed foods. Then you have a weekend where you are away and didnt get to spend time cooking for the week, so you have to rely on some pre-made meals instead.
Just because we took a break from the habit doesn’t mean we should dismiss all of our efforts. Even if you’ve experienced a lapse in your health routine, you can still get back into the swing of it before new (unhealthy) habits are formed.
If you’ve lost your rhythm, or are just getting started, here are some key steps to creating new habits:
5 Simple Steps to Creating Healthy Habits
1. Check In on your WHY
Take a few minutes to reflect on WHY it was that you decided to make a change in the first place. Maybe you wanted to have more energy, or lose weight? Are there activities out there that you want to participate in but your health or shape are keeping you from them? Or maybe you wanted to find a diet that keeps a particular health challenge in check?
If you’ve been meeting your personal goals, that’s great! Congratulate yourself and use that as motivation to keep up your routine moving forward. And if you’ve been falling short of where you wanted to be: it’s okay. Starting a new lifestyle can be difficult. Sometimes, life happens and things don’t go exactly as planned. Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished, let go of regrets and move on. Every day is a chance to start over.
What was your initial plan when you started? See which habits you’ve stuck with, and what parts of your routine are or aren’t working. You can always make changes to how you approach your goals, so take the time to reevaluate. If something about your current approach isn’t working for you, don’t stress about it – just get rid of it! After all the goal is to create a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE that fits YOU and your needs. If something isn’t working, eliminate it and focus on finding alternatives that can meet your goals without clashing with your schedule or needs.
3. Schedule Time
Your daily schedule might have changed with a new work schedule, an extra packed social calendar, or even with the start of a new season, like sending kids back to school in the Fall. Review your new schedule, and see where you have free time here and now for things like exercise, batch cooking or finding new recipes. If your schedule is different than before, revise your strategy so that it works with where you are now.
4. Keep It Interesting
If you were able to stay on track with a specific regimen, but are starting to get tired of the repetition, try mixing things up! Take a new workout class or two to shake up your exercise regime, or visit your local smoothie bar to inspire a new creation in your own kitchen. If you use Pinterest, try browsing health and wellness boards for inspiration. I love tracking new and interesting recipes on my Pinterest page. It’s a great source of fresh ideas and an easy way to document what you want to try next.
5. Be Proud!
Look at how far you’ve come! Think about where you started this journey, and what inspired you to start in the first place. Even if you’re not as far along as you’d like, I’d bet you’re farther than you ever thought you’d be. So be proud! And keep going, because creating a healthier life for yourself is one of the most rewarding journeys you can take.