When it comes to achieving a health goal, the way that you form and stick to new habits can make or break your pursuit. It’s easy to get in a workout or prepare a healthy meal when you’re feeling motivated and have the time and energy. The trouble often lies in the moments when you’re tired after a long day of work, have family obligations, or any other commitments that may come up. As a nutrition specialist and personal trainer, I instruct my clients that sound habits are most beneficial in these moments.
The first step is to identify the habits that you want to include in your daily life and ask yourself “why.” Understanding and realizing YOUR “why” is a way to keep you motivated for change. Habits that relate to curating a healthy lifestyle such as getting exercise, healthy eating, drinking water, and getting a good night of sleep are essential. The most important thing to remember when trying to form a new habit is to start out slow. Choose one habit at a time, try to do this habit 3 days a week at first, and then slowly build from there. Don’t try to change too much at once because that will set you up for failure. It takes approximately 21 days of doing something consistently to form a habit.
Goals become significantly easier and more achievable when you get rid of the obstacles that have kept you from forming this habit in the past. If you want to run in the morning, put your running shoes by the door, lay out your workout clothes the night before, and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Staying consistent is often just as challenging as getting started. Many people find it helpful to create reminders on their smartphones or computers. There are a number of great apps you can use to do this and also track your progress.
In my upcoming webinar, I will speak about the importance of adopting sustainable, healthy habits that add up to long-term benefits from exercise and proper nutrition. It can be a tough truth, but if you don’t make an effort to create conditions for success, it won’t happen. With awareness of your reason for starting a new habit and practiced consistency, you can maximize your productivity and improve your health. You’ve got this!