How to Effectively Develop Healthy Habits in the New Year
With every new year, comes a new list of resolutions that never quite seem to have a successful follow through in the following months. Attempting to develop new healthy habits that effectively remain in your daily routine may seem daunting and unachievable. These changes are definitely possible for everyone, but it is important to go about making them in a way that is fair and beneficial to yourself, so that they will stick with you in the future.
Become Familiar With Your Current Habits
Getting to know more about the regular routine you already have can make it a lot easier to notice opportunities for change or elimination of certain habits within it. Thinking more about your daily habits will make it possible to identify certain triggers, such as certain activities that you find often lead to the unhealthy behaviors you wish to change. For example, if you hope to eat healthier in the new year, and find yourself eating lots of unhealthy snacks while watching T.V or a movie, this makes clear an area where adjustments can be made.
Knowing your current routine can also help you realize some of the more beneficial and rewarding habits that you may want to start doing more of in the new year. Continuing to engage in existing healthy behaviors is a great way to make a positive change for the better, in a way that doesn’t feel so out of reach.
Make a Clear Plan: Identify What Habits You Wish to Develop
When first deciding that you want to develop a new healthy habit, it can be very effective to start by laying out a clear plan of what that habit is, and how you plan to incorporate it into your everyday routine.
When carrying out this planning, it is crucial to set realistic goals: don’t try to change everything at once. Easing into small life-style changes will often make them more attainable, as this reduces the pressure and stress of trying to attack a massive goal very quickly. Make tiny adjustments that can be built upon overtime to help you achieve a greater change.
While forming your plan, it is also important to ask yourself the reasons why you want to make these changes, and make sure that these reasons are significant to you. Physically write these reasons down so you have them for reference, and can continually remind yourself of them in order to stay motivated throughout the whole process.
Be Patient With Yourself and Track All of Your Progress
Striving towards a new goal, whether big or small, will inevitably come with challenges and difficulties. Making change is not an easy thing to do, and will require time and effort. Remember this while working on developing new healthy habits, and know that there is no quick secret way to achieve everything all at once.
Allow yourself to make mistakes here and there. Don’t become discouraged and give up if you skip a workout day one week, or accidentally eat something with meat in it while trying out a vegetarian diet. Small errors are all part of the learning process, and you can’t blame yourself for forgetting occasionally while getting used to something new. Patience is key, and a huge part of the journey of making new healthy habits. In fact, overcoming these challenges and pushing yourself through them is something that will make you feel all the more proud and accomplished once you achieve your goals.
It may also be useful to include these possible obstacles in your plan. Become aware of things that may impede your progress before you even face them, so that handling them will be even more efficient in the moment.
Tracking your progress is also very important. Decide on a few landmark points within your goal that you want to reach, and then check off a box each time you reach them. For example when you have successfully carried out your new habit for a week, and then two weeks, and so on. This way, you can see all of the progress you have made, which will help to keep you feeling able and motivated to continue on.
Ask For Support From Those Around You
One of the greatest sources of motivation when embarking upon making healthy change in your life, is knowing that those around you support you and are there for you if you need help. Inform your close friends and family that you spend lots of time around about what it is you are trying to accomplish. This way, they will be able to offer their support, and cheer you on through the process. This may also prevent accidental temptation from others that could veer you off the course of success.
For example, if your new year’s goal is to go out for a walk every day, by telling your friends, it may lead to the decision that going for a walk will be the activity you do when you want to spend time together. Maybe your new healthy habit will even rub off on those around you, or inspire them to make other healthy changes in their own lives!