Do you want to get healthier? If so, you’re not alone! Health goals are incredibly common because wellness is a critical component of work-life harmony. Whether it’s a desire to lose weight, quit alcohol, exercise more, or eat more healthily, lots of people set out to raise their game in this crucial life area.
And lots of people fall short of their goals too!
There are plenty of reasons why. For example, you can struggle to find the time or lack the motivation or energy to commit fully. It’s a challenge. Health underpins everything. It’s an area of life we can take for granted – until something goes wrong.
So if you’re determined to create healthy habits that stick, then this article is a must-read. Keep reading and discover THREE highly effective strategies.
1. Know your WHY
It’s always hard to step out of your comfort zone and do something different.
We’re creatures of habit! We like what we know because we feel comfortable, secure, and safe. If you want to change something permanently, you need to give yourself a good reason to ‘force’ yourself to step up.
Enter your WHY…
Use this strategy to discover your real motivation for tackling a specific health goal. You say you want to start running, but what’s underneath that desire? You want to lose weight, but what’s the deeper reason for this intention?
For example, do you:
- Want to be able to keep up with your kids
- Fit into your favorite jeans again
- Have more energy so you can do more things with your life
- Increase your fitness to reduce the risk of suffering in the way your parents [or grandparents] did
- Feel more confident
- Look after yourself by cultivating self-love and self-care
Superficial reasons may get you started, but it’s the deeper motivations that keep you committed when the going gets tough [which it inevitably will]. To discover what’s driving you:
- Ask WHY?
- Then ask WHY again.
- And again…
Until you get to the heart of your motivations. Then write down your answer so you can remind yourself every day.
2. Track your success
It’s easy to get started, but it’s hard to keep going.
As I said it point 1, we’re creatures of habit who resist change. So how do you push yourself forward and overcome your instinct to stay put?
The answer is to turn your health-related goals into habits. In other words, what actions do you have to do on a day-to-day basis to achieve your desired outcome? Is it:
- A daily 30-minute power walk
- Healthy snacks only
- Morning yoga practice
- Freshly prepared food etc.
Figure out your habits and then use a habit tracking tool to monitor how well you’re achieving them.
It can take up to 60 days to make a new habit stick, but the payoff of achieving this point is so worth it. When a habit happens on autopilot, you no longer think about doing it. Instead, it happens – automatically!
Habit tracking can manoeuvre you into this empowering position. Here’s how you can get yourself there:
- Write the habits you want to establish on your Habit Roadmap.
- Check each day you complete your habit to create a winning streak.
- Create a chain of wins that’s so long; it becomes more painful to break the chain than keep going.
Countless top performers [including John Grisham and Jerry Seinfeld], use this success technique, so why don’t you do the same?
3. Habit Stacking
We’ve already mentioned that once a habit becomes automatic, it takes minimal effort to keep doing it. For example, you don’t overthink cleaning your teeth before going to bed. Instead, you feel weird if you don’t do it!
The same may be true of making the bed, having a morning coffee, or reading at bedtime.
Did you know that you can leverage these well-established habits to help you instil new ones more easily?
You can, with a technique called habit stacking. For example:
- You may choose to prep fresh food after breakfast
- Or take a walk after you’ve dropped your children to school
- Or do some yoga stretches before you read
Weave new habits around existing ones to create an extended routine, and you’ll find it a lot easier to make those healthy habits stick. [This is the value of morning and evening routines.]
Even better, schedule dedicated time in your day when you’ll complete these habits. Remember, what gets planned gets done.
It is possible to make space for healthy habits. Use the three strategies described in this article, and in a short amount of time, you could be reaping the benefits of your sharper focus on wellbeing. It’s a decision that could transform your life – for the better.