You finally want to exercise regularly, take more time to relax, and/or switch to a healthy diet? That’s it! But for you to really manage to live healthy and maintain this lifestyle, these desires must become healthy habits.
Habit is what we call..
…an action that we repeat until we do it automatically. We no longer need any special motivation and skip the usual conscious decision-making process of not doing something or already doing something.
Maybe you already know from experience: It Unfortunately, it’s not easy to practice healthy habits . So how do you turn conscious choices into unconscious behaviors??
There are a few proven steps to help you build healthy habits that support your health and fitness goals. Get inspired – on the road to a healthier, fitter life!
Healthy living made easy: these 5 tips help
1. Be clear about what you want to achieve
The first step towards new, healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle is quite clear: Find out for yourself what you want to achieve exactly. To do this, you need to define your goals in concrete terms .
At Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Published studies show that setting a specific goal is important for behavior change. (1) So scientists agree: Set a goal, and you’ll maximize your chances of making lasting changes to your behavior.
Take enough time to define for yourself what you want to achieve and what you need in your life right now. Once you’ve made up your mind, you can take the next step: Establish a clearly defined plan.
2. Define a plan
Once you’ve defined your goals, you need a concrete plan that includes realistic steps. What small, sustainable steps can you set that you repeat over and over again to consistently get closer to your goal??
A study published in the British Journal of General Practice suggests that even small changes in everyday life can lead to major behavioral change. (2)
Here are some examples of behavioral adjustments in your everyday life that you can turn into healthy habits – including healthy eating :
- Start the day consciously: If you’re already stressed in the morning, your mood will suffer, which in turn will affect your daily routine. If you set aside enough time in the morning to start slowly, listen to yourself, or meditate, you can set the stage for a successful day.
- Enjoy a healthy breakfast while sitting down: Not everyone has a big appetite in the morning; you should naturally adjust your breakfast to your body’s needs . A morning meal rich in protein and healthy fats will give you energy and an optimal start to the day.
- Drink a glass of water before you start your day .
- Make sure you get enough exercise during the day: It doesn’t matter whether you do a few simple exercises to relieve neck tension or stretch your legs for a moment – try to incorporate regular exercise into your (work) routine.
- Treat yourself to a late afternoon snack: At this time of day, many people struggle with an energy slump. So if you plan for a healthy snack here, you won’t have to deal with oversized cravings.
- Prepare your own dinner: When you cook for yourself, you eat fewer calories and have complete control over what fuel your body gets.
- Schedule fixed times for your workouts and be prepared: If you exercise at the same time every day, it soon becomes automatic.
- Read before you go to bed: This will help your body to slowly wind down in the evening and subsequently sleep well.
- Make sure to sleep at least 7 hours every night. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day – at least on weekdays.
- Have oneEmergency plan for stressful situationsrightly so: If things don’t go your way, you’ll be tempted to break your healthy habits. Find out for yourself how to stay cool even in stressful situations (e.g., when you’re in the middle of the day). B.Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises).
3. Be consistent
Studies show that the repetition of a simple action makes it a habit. The particular context ensures that we perform them automatically. (3)
In other words: If you always take the same actions after certain events, your brain will automatically get used to this sequence.
For example, if you eat a piece of fruit every day after lunch instead of a candy bar, over time it will become a healthy habit and you won’t miss that sugar bomb anymore. This means that your brain automatically apples and co. Expect and no more "chocolate, now!" roars – the first step towards healthy eating!
How to get started now? It’s best to just start with your morning routine: Try meditation, drink a glass of water when you wake up, or make an agreement with yourself to keep your cell phone turned off for a certain amount of time in the morning.
How long does it take for you to actually internalize a habit? Studies confirm that it takes about two months for behavioral changes to become automatic. So the key to success is consistency! If you have practiced a certain behavior for about two months, it will become a habit.
4. Don’t let setbacks stop you
When you are trying to achieve a goal, you can always fall flat on your face. There will come days when you don’t stick to your plan, you skip your scheduled workout, you give in to your cravings, and you don’t get enough sleep.
London researchers, however, showed that subjects acquired a specific habit even when they occasionally did not perform certain actions. (4) The automatism of a habit comes back as soon as you follow the practiced pattern again.
Of course, the longer you suspend your healthy habits, the harder it will be to reintroduce them and continue living healthily . So it’s totally okay if you fall short here and there, but don’t lose focus and always find your way back to your plan as soon as possible!
Make sure that your everyday life does not suddenly revolve exclusively around this topic. Of course, adopting a healthy lifestyle means hard work. But sit back! Schedule a fixed relaxation time every week. Actively take time for positive thoughts and gratitude – allow your body and mind to rest and relax (read a book, do yoga, take a bath…) .
Soon everything will be different
Even small changes can make you experience your everyday life completely differently. Try the above 5 steps and adopt new healthy habits. You will soon notice that you get rid of bad habits as well . So keep at it: soon enough, your goals will move closer and healthy living will take care of itself !