Updated: Sep 10
Starting a new habit can be hard, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to improve your physical and mental health. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only about 8% of Americans get enough exercise every day, while almost 10% don’t get any exercise at all. If you want to become more active, losing weight, or simply feel better overall, this guide will help you form new healthy habits that last.
Your environment needs to be right
You need to be in the right mindset, have the right tools, and set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with people who support your goals.
You also need to be patient, as it takes time for new habits to form.
And finally, don't get discouraged if you slip up – everyone does! Just get back on track and keep going.
Start where you are, not where you think you should be
You are more likely to stick with a new habit if you start where you are, not where you think you should be.
So, if you want to start working out three times a week, but can only manage once a week right now, start there.
Once you're in the habit of working out once a week, it will be easier to increase frequency. And remember, even small changes can lead to big results over time!
Decide on One Key Goal
Before you can start developing any new habit, you need to decide on a goal. This goal should be something specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Once you have your goal in mind, you can begin developing a plan to make it happen.
Start Small and Build Up: When it comes to developing new habits, it's important to start small.
Trying to do too much too soon is likely to lead to burnout and eventually giving up altogether.
So pick one small thing you can do each day or week that will help you work towards your goal.
For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, start by adding one extra serving of fruits or vegetables to your diet each day.
Make it Easy
The first step is making it easy on yourself. If you’re trying to start working out, choose a time that you know you can commit to and make sure you have everything you need ahead of time.
If you’re trying to eat healthier, stock your fridge and pantry with healthy options. The easier it is, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Use What You Have
You don't need a whole lot of willpower or motivation to make a change in your routine.
All you need is to start small and be consistent.
One way to do this is by using what you have.
For example, if you want to start working out, you can use your bodyweight for resistance and do some basic exercises at home.
To get started, you don't need fancy equipment or a gym membership. Just use what you have and be consistent with it.
Surround Yourself With Supportive People
A key part of making any change is having supportive people around you.
When it comes to developing new healthy habits, this is especially important.
Find friends or family members who will be there to encourage you and help you stay on track.
Additionally, look for online communities or groups focused on developing healthy habits. These people can provide valuable tips, advice, and motivation.
Keep Moving Forward
It can be tough to make lasting changes, but it's not impossible. The key is to keep moving forward, even when you stumble.
1. Set a realistic goal- change doesn't happen overnight, so set a goal that you can realistically achieve.
2. Start small- taking on too much at once is overwhelming and sets you up for failure. Baby steps are the way to go!
3. Find your motivation- what's driving you to make this change? Write it down and refer back to it when you need some extra inspiration.
4. Create a support system- tell your friends and family about your goals and ask for their help and encouragement.
Remember Why You Are Doing This For Yourself
It can be easy to forget why we want to make a change in our lives when the going gets tough.
Maybe you’re trying to eat healthier so that you can have more energy to play with your kids, or maybe you’re hoping to improve your sleep so that you can be more productive at work.
Whatever your reason may be, it’s important to keep that goal in mind whenever you feel like giving up.