If you are anything like me you probably set goals all of the time. Some of them you keep, some of them you never expected to keep, and sometimes there is just too many to keep track of. So how does a goal become a habit, and how does this habit help you along your way to success. Below I have written my top 12 ways you can stick to healthy habits and goals.
Beginning to make positive changes within one’s life can often be overwhelming. It can create worry and that little voice of self-doubt gets an opportunity to creep its way in. I often find myself motivated and inspired to create healthy habits, for them to only last a short amount of time. I often get tired and forget why I even started.
Going into the new year so many of us set goals and resolutions, only to fail them a few hours, days, or weeks later. Carry on reading my top 12 ways to keep healthy habits and incorporate them into your lifestyle.
1. It Isn't always about adding
We do not have to be adding all of the time. Sometimes we simply need to remove something. When making goals and creating healthy habits, we often believe that we should be adding a bunch of new things into our routine. Sometimes it isn’t about what we are doing to better ourselves but rather what we are no longer doing.
It is a great idea to release any habitual behaviors that you have picked up along the way that no longer serve you. Instead of exercising more, maybe you just need to cut our junk food. Instead of being more positive, maybe you need to cut out negative thinking patterns and self-doubt. Sometimes we do not need more company, more time, or more relationships. We simply need to cut out the bad ones, focus on being present in the moment, and cherishing the time we have with others.
Before thinking about all healthy habits you need to incorporate, have a think about any habits you currently have that can be adapted, removed, or changed slightly.
2. Start small
How many times do you write out a huge list of all the things you need to get done? What about all the things you want to change? How about all those new year resolutions?
Sometimes too much can be a huge hindrance, we stretch ourselves too far and try to focus on too many things. By doing this we often prevent ourselves from doing even one thing well.
Have you ever committed to one too many things and then, rather than focusing on one of them you just end up completing none? This is what I found myself doing too often. I would give myself a huge list of monthly goals. Starting strong, I manage to complete them all every day for a while, but in time some would begin to fall, and before long I wouldn’t be doing any of them.
It takes time for a habit to form. When you repeat an action over and over again it will soon become effortless to you, and this is the key to forming these healthy habits. The problem with too many habits is the amount of effort they each take. Each habit bites into your will power, and you may begin to resent doing any of them.
Try one or two habits at a time. Focus on that one healthy habit and see it through. This habit is important to you, and it should be given the respect and time it deserves within your life.
3. Make sure your goals are meaningful to you
Sticking to a healthy habit is a lot easier if it has meaning and purpose to you. If you try to force yourself into habits that do not serve you, you may find yourself giving up.
When deciding on a healthy habit try to think about why you are doing it.
- What is it that is appealing to you about this habit?
- Is there a certain goal you have in mind?
- How will this habit benefit your life?
- Do you have inspiration for this habit?
- Is this habit in line with any of your beliefs and morals?
4. Create a vision board
The time it takes to make habits can make them tough. Over time, we become tired, fed up, and sometimes even forget why we started. Starting with a simple habit that is meaningful to you is a great way to stick to it; but how do you stay motivated?
Vision boards are a great way to help bring motivation. They can be big, small, minimal, modern, creative, colorful. A vision board represents you and your goals. Think about your healthy habits and what makes it meaningful for you. On your vision board, you should stick anything that inspires you to complete this goal. Write some inspirational messages and remind yourself why you are making these changes.
5. Break healthy lifestyle habits down into smaller goals
Keep it simple. I have seen so many people motivated to make changes, but they set enormous habit changes. Big goals can often seem overwhelming, and this makes it tough to keep on track. Think about your goals and begin to break them down.
Do you feel good when you tick off your to-do list? Reaching goals often create feelings of happiness and joy. To stick with your healthy habits try to create small goals. You could even create a checklist. Being able to see your achievements, and regularly strive towards smaller goals can make the bigger goal even easier to achieve.
You might be planning to eat more healthy, this is a huge goal. So, simplify it down. Set small goals, such as incorporating a new healthy food into each meal, researching some healthy recipe plans, meal prepping healthy lunches. You wouldn’t go into a huge project without any planning, and in the same way, you shouldn’t try to make healthy lifestyle habits without some pre-planning.
Creating healthy habits and making changes take up a lot of energy and willpower. In order to stick with your goals, you need to allow yourself some time for rest and relaxation.
When we are tired our willpower can become depleted. We are often more irritable, hungry, and not thinking straight.
One of the most important ways to stick to your goals is by looking after yourself. Make sure that you are eating well, sleeping well, and giving yourself efficient time for self-care.
7. Reflect about your healthy habits and goals often
There is no point smashing your way through goals and healthy habits if you are not learning from them. Many of us often reflect, only after things have gone off track. Whilst this is good, it is important to reflect all of the time.
Remember to set some time aside to reflect on your new healthy habits and goals. You can do this in your mind, but I personally like to write down my reflections. Having it written down gives you something to look back on, it is a great way to look at your progress, and remind yourself why you are making these changes. Use the questions below to get started.
- Why did you start this healthy habit?
- What is going well?
- What needs work?
- How are you feeling about it?
- What have you learned so far?
8. Meditate and pay attention to your mind
Life can be busy and a great way to stick with your goals is by looking after your mind. Meditation is a great way to focus your mind and clear away any doubts. Allow meditation to help you realign with your habits and fuel yourself with motivation and inspiration.
Meditating once a day for a few moments is a great way to clear your mind and heal yourself from any negativity and self-doubt.
9. Read, learn, and grow
This is such an important step! It is great for self-development and turning those healthy habits into a concrete lifestyle change.
Everything we have talked about so far is great, but knowledge really is power. Try to learn about the benefits of your new healthy habit. Read about the different aspects of this habit and try to develop a wider view. The more information you have to form your own opinions about this healthy habit, the more likely you will be to stick with it.
There are books about everything! I bet no matter what your healthy habit is there is a book, website, or forum out there that you can use.
10. Use other people for support, inspiration, and accountability
It can be hard to stick to healthy habits when you are doing them alone, so a great way to stay motivated is by getting a friend to join you. Try to find someone who has the same goals as you and work together on it. Look for online communities and reach out to others for support and tips.
Having others there with you allows you to have someone for support and motivation, it gives you a way to stay accountable for your actions.
11. Be easy on yourself
Big changes are hard, and the last thing you should be doing is beating yourself up about them. Maybe it is harder than you thought, maybe you made a few mistakes, but that is fine.
Don’t let yourself get upset and try not to put yourself down. When we begin to think negatively it can put us in a place that is difficult to get out of. This can then lead us to give up on our habits altogether.
Instead of getting upset, allow yourself to accept the challenge. Know that everyone struggles and forget about any mishaps. Move forward with the same motivation that you had at the start and keep going!
12. Reward yourself
Make sure you reward yourself!
Making changes and creating healthy habits is something to be proud of, and it is important to remember how far you have come. Reward yourself every step of the way.
What are your healthy habit goals? Let us know in the comments below, share you experiences and help out a fellow reader!