When we set our goals for the New Year, we need to put a special focus on building new habits rather than overhauling everything in a flash. It can come as a shock to change too much at once, which often leads to tossing in the towel before you reach those goals you genuinely want to achieve.
Since old habits die hard, here’s how to make new healthy habits that last.
Commit to your healthy goals
Even when you know you need to make some changes, it can be challenging to do so. Change is hard and often uncomfortable. Committing to these goals by focusing on the “why” portion of the unpleasantness can help you stay committed to the goals you’ve set for yourself. For example, if you are hoping to lower your cholesterol this year and you’ve chosen to make some dietary changes to do so, focus on the results you’ll get rather than the process of achieving them.
Create a fun calendar
Grab a calendar or planner in a style that makes it enticing for you to use. Add your health goals there so you’ll follow them and start a routine you look forward to checking off each day. It helps to read them the night before, so you set the tone for what’s to come and get it done.
Take it slow
Getting into good health is essential, but you can’t just jump from one extreme to the next. Take a look at the healthy habits you need to incorporate. Perhaps it’s eliminating sodas, eating more healthy, whole foods, and exercising. Then, start slowly removing the harmful elements while working in more healthy choices with each week. Increase the amount of time you spend exercising with every passing week, and you’ll be locked into these new healthy habits.
Get an accountability buddy
If you have a friend or family member with the same goals, you can pair up to tackle them together. But don’t let it stop you if no one else is on your same mission. Share those habits and goals anyway so that your friends and family can help cheer you on.
Celebrate your victories
Every big goal you set should have a path lined with smaller goals that get you there. This way, you feel motivated to keep persisting through the pressure. When you reach those smaller goals, celebrate!
Keep track of your progress
Documenting your healthy habits is a great way to stay motivated when you’re having a bad day. When you flip back, and you see the changes you’ve made, you’ll be inspired. If your goal is weight loss, look at the weight you started at. Losing just 5 pounds will make you see you CAN do it and keep you moving toward that final goal.
One Final Word of Advice: Be Kind to Yourself When You Slip Up
Sometimes we veer off track, and that’s perfectly fine. We often give everyone else the grace, allow yourself grace. Dust yourself off and get back to it rather than punishing yourself. The sooner you get back on course, the less impact it will have on your overall goals.