How to Develop Healthy Habits

Most of us have an image in our heads of how we’d love to be in an ideal world.

Being healthy, athletic, fit, and pain-free are common elements of this image. 

You might think about this perfect version of yourself a lot and play it over and over in your mind. But for most of us, it only ever stays as a vision. 

Oftentimes, this is because you’re not sure how to turn your vision into a genuine truth! 

Developing healthy habits is so important for getting on the right path, and it’s not as difficult as you may think. With the right healthy habits in your life, it’s easier to make health, fitness, and happiness a reality. 

HAVE A VISION

Having a vision of yourself to aspire too is so important. Take this a step further by drawing a picture or tapping into the power of visualization. 

Did you know that the brain finds it really hard to tell the difference between doing something in practice and doing it for real? 

If you keep imagining yourself doing the habits that will help you become a better version of yourself, you can train your brain to pick them up quickly. Think of it as a mental rehearsal for the real thing.

MAKE A PLAN

Your plan can include small, actionable steps and specific activities to go along with them. You can build on these steps to ultimately make your healthy habits a reality. Break your habits down into bite-size mini-goals.

It’s not just about what you’ll start doing — you may need to ditch some unhealthy activities too so you can develop healthier habits.

STAY ON TRACK

Setting small mini-goals that you can easily achieve can increase your enthusiasm and motivation in the early days and give you the impetus to keep going. 

Obstacles will likely derail your plan and it’s smart to factor this into your plan. 

Rewarding yourself can help you stay on track. If you’re consistently ticking off mini-goals and working your way towards developing healthy habits, it’s definitely okay to treat yourself.

SURROUND YOURSELF WIHT LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE

Having positive and supportive influences helps make it easier to achieve your healthy habits. It’s motivating and can stop you from going off track when your willpower wanes. 

If you can get your friends and family onboard, it can take things up a notch. 

According to research, our habits tend to reflect those of the people around us. If they’re also developing healthier habits (or have them in place already!), it puts you in a good place to do the same. 

BE PATIENT

Habits take a while to become established — it’s definitely not an overnight thing! According to research, it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit — sometimes a lot longer. 

Tracking your progress in a journal can help you see the journey you’re on, even if it feels like you’re moving really slowly. 

References:

From mental power to muscle power–gaining strength by using the mind

Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice


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