How to Make A Good Habit Stick

Article posted in: Lifestyle

You started the year determined: you were going to eat better, exercise every day, and take better care of yourself. Now a few months in, however, you can feel your motivation starting to fade. But don’t wave that white flag just yet. With time, a good plan and support, you can make healthy habits stick for the long haul. Here are some strategies to help set up you for success:

Start small. Take your bigger goal, whether it’s losing 10 pounds or eating healthier in general, and break it down into more manageable steps. Aim to lose one pound a week, for example; or replace the muffin or cookie you always get with your afternoon coffee with something more nutritious that you enjoy, like a sweet piece of fruit or yogurt. Also important: Focus on improving one behavior at a time. Changing too much, too fast, can become overwhelming. But over time, as new healthy behaviors become a habit, you can try adding another goal.

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Plan ahead. Doing so gives you less of an opportunity fall back on excuses for giving up a good habit. If you want to exercise more, be specific in your plan—think about when in the day you have time to take a walk, and for how long or far you’ll go. Keep your walking shoes near the front door, for example, or have your exercise clothes out and ready the night before.

Get loved ones involved. It could be family, a friend, or even a coworker—just having someone to help keep you motivated and accountable, to share your struggles with and celebrate your successes can make incorporating healthy habits easier.

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Don’t expect perfection. You’re going have moments of weakness, you’ll skip your walk one day or eat a cookie with your coffee. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just consider it a misstep and resolve to move forward.