Making a commitment to lead a healthier lifestyle is empowering. You are benefiting not only yourself but your whole household by setting a positive example. Habits are not formed overnight though, and maintaining a new routine will be challenging. To help you ease into your lifestyle transition, here are five things you can do to make sure your new habits stick.
1. Recreate Your Kitchen To Inspire Healthy Eating
Fall back in love with your kitchen by making a few upgrades to your meal prep space. This doesn’t have to mean forking out for major renovations. You can start by replacing any worn-out pots and pans with quality cookware that is beautiful enough to make you feel excited about cooking. The gain isn’t only superficial – quality kitchenware is easier to clean and more resistant to damage and burns. So, upgrade your old, overused cookware today to promote a healthier and more efficient lifestyle.
2. Keep A Visual Calendar
It’s common for people to lose motivation when trying to form a new habit. When it comes to health-related objectives – like wanting to develop endurance, lose weight, or finish a marathon – starting with the end-goal in mind may actually set you up to fail. Achieving any of these accomplishments will involve a long-term commitment to activities you’re not yet used to or find difficult, and you will not see any visible results for a while. By keeping a calendar, you will be able to tackle your challenge on a step-by-step, day-by-day basis and get a clear visual on how much progress you’re making.
3. Make Exercise A Family Affair
Getting your family or friends together for a fun physical activity turns a healthy habit into an opportunity for bonding. You might feel more inclined to get active if your child or a friend is also looking forward to it or expecting you to show up. Having an exercise partner to hold you accountable can act as an extra motivator on the days you might feel inclined to skip the session. It also allows for even more health benefits of socialization and connecting with your loved ones, so it’s a win-win!
4. Keep Sticky Note Reminders of “Why”
Neuroscientific studies have associated writing down your goals with a higher chance of success. They also show that people rarely write vivid descriptions of their goals that could be understood by another person without the need for explanation. Keeping this information written (or illustrated, if you’re into drawing) and on display, creates a visual cue for your brain to store your goals and desired habits in your long term memory via the process of encoding. So, don’t be afraid to redecorate your home (or even just your refrigerator door) with every specific action it will take for you to achieve your health goals. Be sure to include all the reasons why you’ve chosen this path.
5. Hide Your Car Keys
If exercise is on your agenda but not something you currently practice, it may be better for you to start by incorporating it into your life incidentally. For example, you could try walking or riding to work instead of driving. This is easier said than done when it’s 8am and cold outside. Combat the temptation to be lazy by leaving your keys with someone close to you for a period of time. Whether it’s just for the morning, a few days, or a week, your healthy future self will thank yourself for making this choice.
Habit-forming takes time, but with a bit of patience and the above tips in mind, you’ve got this!