Making healthy habits last - five simple ways

We all make plans to live a healthy life, incorporating varying routines and habits into our lives to meet that goal and some we manage to stick with them. Unfortunately many of these don’t last for long; this is particularly common with New Year resolutions. So what can we do to maximise our chances of having them last.

1. Be clear

Knowing why you want to make these healthy habits can help make it easier to stick with. Saying that you want to eat more fruit and vegetables is a great healthy habit to have, but knowing why you want to do it is more helpful when you are tempted to stray from your regime. If you have a clear reason why you are doing something you are more likely to stick with it.

2. Don’t go it alone

Most of us need some form of support and it can make a real difference to helping us stay motivated. Even if our healthy habits have been incorporated for a while, they can still be a struggle to maintain. For instance, if you have been reducing your intake of red meat for a while, you may find that you
are running out of healthy recipes to make and becoming bored with your diet. If you have a support system which includes people and sources of helpful information then you can share experiences and ideas. This can make a real difference to keep you on track.

3. Make it enjoyable

It makes sense that if you don’t like doing something then you are not going to keep doing it. So, if you have decided that you are going to improve your fitness and are trying to incorporate going to the gym several times a week, but is someone who doesn’t like going to the gym, then you are likely to find it hard to stick to it. Instead, if you opt to get involved in a sport or activity that you enjoy, you
are more likely to continue doing it.

4. Step back

If you are struggling to maintain your habits, taking a step back and looking at what may be getting in the way could be just the solution to helping yourself. For example, if you are trying to drink more
water each day and finding it hard on the days when you are at work, stepping back may highlight that it is because of something like there not being fresh water available. Once you realise this then you can make sure that you take plenty of water to work with you.

5. Don’t be hard on yourself when you go astray and be proud when you stick to it

If you have a slip up it is far better to forgive yourself and get yourself back on track. Take some time to consider the reasons why this may have happened and try to learn from it. Remember the expression learn from your mistakes and move on from it. In the same vein reward yourself when you do succeed – even a relaxing bath or some pampering is good to keep you motivated.

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by a listed nutritionist

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