What is a Healthy Habit?
A healthy habit is any activity that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a juice cleanse or that virtual workout class your friend has to beg you to join. It could be practicing mindfulness, reducing stress, or giving back by volunteering.
So, how can you choose a healthy habit?
Be honest with yourself about what goals you can realistically accomplish. This could be not eating that midnight snack, or waking up at the same time each morning. The first step to change is recognizing the behavior or habit you’d like to make or break. For example, if you’d like to take up yoga, but haven’t tried it before, take your new habit for a test drive to make sure it’s something you’re comfortable committing to.
Once you’ve chosen a new healthy habit, here are four tips to help make them stick.
1. The early bird gets the worm
Most people have energy early in the day after a good night of sleep. Use this to your advantage by beginning your new habit in the quiet morning hours. If you choose habits that are easy to begin with, it’s hard to say no. Get your early start this week!
2. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Celebrate the small victories
Many of us forget that habits don’t happen overnight. On average, it can take up to two months for a new behavior to become automatic. While it makes sense to have a grand plan for your final goal, celebrating the little victories along the way will give you the lift you need to keep going. These celebrations allow you to maintain balance and focus on more than one goal. Give yourself a reset each morning and recognize that accomplishing a small goal that day is a victory.
3. Look to your community to keep you accountable
It’s hard to bail on that 5 a.m. virtual yoga class if your friend will be committed to joining with you. It's important to build a network of resources and friends to keep you accountable, whether it’s a nutrition expert, fitness instructor, or a new friend at your Tuesday morning online Tai Chi class.
4. Be open to change and ask questions
In order to bring something new in your life, you need to be open to change. With this openness, you allow yourself to be vulnerable and make mistakes. Being receptive to a piece of advice or a tip from a friend could transform the way you approach your goal.
This article was first published on the Live Well blog by EmblemHealth.