Particularly when long lasting change is what we want to see, the implementation of good habits is key to setting yourself up for success no matter what health goals you might have.
Motivation is usually high when you embark on a new goal or challenge, so it feels easy to put an effort into it at first. It often seems easier to handle and overcome any obstacles and hurdles that may come your way. But over time, it can seem as if the thought of achieving your goals you set out to do are too far to reach because the motivation we once had at the start takes a dip. History repeats. Kinda sounds familiar, huh?
Although this is a very common experience, it would be a lot harder to realize your goals if you didn’t have habits in place. Habit formation is key because it is what keeps you going after motivation gets you started.
When we’re working towards any goal, whether that’s simply to improve our lifestyle, to sleep better, to get fit, or healthy habits to lose weight, we often overlook habit formation even though it is integral. Therefore, Southwest Physical Therapy’s top tips are here so you may establish habits that will help make it easier for you to achieve your healthy habit goals.
Begin With Small Lifestyle Changes At First
From the start you shouldn’t try to make big, drastic changes. Just identify what small healthy changes you can make in your life today by taking a look at where you are now. You’ll make it easier on yourself by picking something simple and small, thus better ensuring that you’ll stick to it because it’s easier to. Over time, that small change will have a big impact that will be noticeable by all.
For instance, why not add an extra piece of veggies to your usual dishes if instead of completely changing your current diet your goal is to eat more veggies? Which one sounds like something you can more easily stick to?
Another example would be that it can be as simple as getting into the habit of putting on your trainer’s sneakers when your goal is to go out for a walk in the morning. The hardest part often is when you’re beginning because you haven’t quite gotten used to it yet since the ice hasn’t been broken by you as you haven’t adapted to it. So, at this point, being able to take quick action will be really helpful in reducing the resisting behaviors that are going to help us in reaching our goals.
Making drastic changes in one go has always been a lot tougher to do rather than something small at any time.
Taking those single events and turning them into repeated behaviors is the key in seeing progress.
As Healthy Habit Reminders You Should Have Prompts
When trying to form useful habits, we can be reminded to take a certain action if we have cues or prompts, which are really useful. For instance, if going to the gym is something you want to make a habit of, what can act as a useful reminder of such intentions to go to the gym is taking your gym kit and leaving it in sight. If your gym kit is in plain view, then chances are you would be more likely to put it on and go than if it were hidden in your wardrobe.
To help you with good habits, have a think about what helpful cues you can make more visible and about your current environment, and how exposure to the cues that cause unhelpful habits might be reduced by you.
If it feels like a challenge to establish a new healthy habit without any trigger or prompt, you can try pairing a current habit with a new habit. Habit stacking is what this is called. For instance, if your flexibility is what you want to improve and you frequently tell yourself that after you finish your workout in the gym you’ll go home and stretch, yet you never do it, then make it a habit as soon as you finish a workout of going directly to the gym’s stretch area.
Consistency Is Required
It is key to keep healthy habits simple and small. Over time, big results will be reaped by them even if such a small action may not feel like much right now. To form a habit it takes an average of 66 days, according to research. So that good habits may become second-nature to us, we need to use this time to focus on mastering them. You must stick with it because the results will be big over a threshold, even if they are not immediately seen!
Big changes are made by tiny changes that add up over time.
Remember that it’s okay if you find yourself slipping up and falling! Adjust the habit or plan if needed and learn from them.
Keep Proof Of Your Progress
You stick to your newfound habits by staying motivated; it’ll help if you track your progress. Crossing a box off your calendar for every time you eliminate a bad habit or when you action a new habit is one way to do this is. All the days you stuck to actions that are helping you reach your goal can be visually recorded/reminded by this.
Remember that the small wins must be celebrated too!
Every achievement is valid, no matter the size of it. It can also help when you establish rewards too – for instance, watch your favorite TV show upon completion of your workout, as a reward to yourself for the successful workout.
Above all, it is important for habits that are conducive to your goals and needs to be built. Whenever possible, on the days you might slip, please try not to be too hard on yourself; be persistent, but make it as enjoyable as possible. Remember there’s always tomorrow, another day for you to work on it and adapt if necessary.
Make healthy living a consistent part of your lifestyle, and persevere on your healthy habit goals each day. Remember that the healthier your lifestyle is, the fuller, more complete and longer your life will be.
If you still need a little help to form healthy habits, give Southwest Physical Therapy a call or pay us a visit. We are always here for you and only wish the best for you. We offer you a FREE consultation with no obligation. And we can heal chronic pain and/or limited range of motion with myofascial release therapy. You can check it all out on our website. Great job on prioritizing your health!