Every single person in the world has a habit they would like to pick up, but would often fail to achieve. It seems that when it comes to healthy habits, even the most successful people you know will share a few stories of failure.
We all know that despite the challenges, there is no denying the fact that this is not something people can just shrug off and get over with. Healthy habits are necessary to add balance into your life, something that would make life a lot more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Why Healthy Habits Matter
What makes healthy habits important? Healthy habits are not there just for the sake of following trends or ticking off a few items on your bucket list. Here are a few good reasons why healthy habits matter:
- They improve your mood.
Anything you do to your body affects your mind and your spirit. Immerse yourself into negativity and you’ll find your mood turning sourer by the minute. But the moment you decide to pick up healthy habits, you also allow your mind, body and spirit to detoxify. As a result, your mood becomes lighter and better.
- They help combat disease.
Unhealthy habits leave your body susceptible to different kinds of disease. For every unhealthy habit you pick up, you pull down your immune system a few notches.
This is why those who have healthier habits always have less chances of getting sick. Think of your body as a plant, and your healthy habits as the water and sun that nourishes it.
- They boost your energy.
With better mood and an overall healthy body, your energy levels are also a lot higher than most people you know. This means that you get to give your all into everything you do, whether it’s a hobby you picked up or a career you’ve been trying to nurture.
Where everybody else is already pooped and stressed out, you still have a lot of reserve energy to last you for the day.
- They improve your chances of a longer life.
What’s the use of all your hard work if you won’t be able to enjoy it for a longer period of time? A lot of people say you only live once, and to some extent, this is something that you have to take seriously.
Because you only have one life to live, you should focus on doing everything to make it longer so that you also have more time to enjoy the finer things in life.
- They help you become fitter and look better.
Where unhealthy habits push you to start developing flabs and showing wrinkles, healthy habits do the exact opposite. You don’t need to put in a few extra hours in the gym just to make up for all the nights partying yourself to death – you would only kill your body slowly. When you have healthy habits, you won’t have anything to make up for.
There is no doubt about it. Healthy habits can deliver a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life right at your doorstep. The journey won’t be that easy, and the prize won’t be delivered overnight. But it’s the struggle itself that can help you build character and make you stronger than you believe.
How to Create Healthy Habits (and Make Them Stick, Too!)
Creating healthy habits isn’t easy, that’s a given. But when you focus on the prize, you know that all the hard work will be worth it. In the meantime, here are a few things that you have to remember to help you on your way:
- It takes at least two months.
Yes, according to a more thorough research, habits do not stick after 21 days – that’s a myth. In reality, it would take 66 days for a person to pick up the habit and make it stick.
The 21-day rule actually came from patients who were able to adjust to the new appearance after going through intense plastic surgery – and that’s nowhere near the grounds of developing healthy habits.
Although some people may say that they HAVE picked up their habits in a span of 21 days, some of them may fall off the wagon and go back to the way they used to if they do not continue working beyond that.
The 66 days cements the habit into your system, making it a routine that your subconscious will keep pushing you to do.
- Understand the habit inside out before taking the leap.
A lot of people find themselves facing the surprise of their lives when they start developing a habit. They become surprised at the entire process and find themselves tormenting their mind because they are completely unprepared for what’s going to happen.
Before going for a habit, study everything that goes with it first. How does the routine go? What are its effects? Are there any risks that you should watch out for?
Once you have mastered everything about the habit you want to pick up, that’s the only time that you should decide whether to go for it or not. Habits are extremely hard to build, and finding yourself quitting halfway just because there were a few surprises along the way would only be a waste of time and energy.
- This is not a place for variety.
Remember that a habit is a REPETITIVE action. This means that there is not much room for variation, especially when you have only picked up the habit for a few months. Follow the rules to the letter and make sure you leave very little room for variation.
A great example here is picking up a workout routine you believe will work well for you. Doing some shortcuts because you feel that the level is too advanced for you will not give you the results that you’re looking for, which could dissuade you from continuing it.
Deciding that the workout is too easy for you and amping up the routine is almost the same thing, because there is also a tendency for you to burn yourself out.
- Use mental rehearsals.
The mind really is one powerful tool and that’s something you can maximize when you’re trying to form a healthy habit. Find yourself having some vacant time?
Imagine yourself doing the workout you’re trying to master over and over again. This mental exercise will help you inject that habit you’re trying to form into your lifestyle, and before you know it, even your subconscious will direct you to do what you’re supposed to do.
- Make the most out of technology.
The great thing about forming a habit today is the fact that there is a lot of technology that could support your habit. You have health apps that would let you keep track of your progress, as well as a few productivity apps. Not only will this help you make your load a bit lighter, it would also help you gauge your progress more accurately.
I want to also mention that you should make sure that you know what triggers the old habit contrary to the new habit that you are trying to develop.
Being able to identify the old behavior will give you insight on what makes you behave the old way. This will then open up the opportunity to decide the timing of when to choose a different response.
Healthy habits are no joke, but there are so many ways for you to keep them. Keep your eye on the prize and you’ll find yourself picking up one healthy habit after another, with each habit becoming lighter and lighter for you to maintain.