A habit is a behavior repeated so many times that it ends up becoming an automatic action or done unconsciously or without the need for motivation.
By now, you should know that it is not so easy to adopt new habits . So how do we transform controlled acts into automatic actions?
In this article we offer you 5 steps to create healthy habits. Follow the tips in the order listed below and get ready to start your new healthy lifestyle.
The first step in acquiring healthy habits is discovering which habits you want to maintain. In order to achieve this, you have to be clear about your objectives .
According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology , goal setting is a behavior change technique that serves as a critical component of successful interventions. Researchers agree that you should set goals to maximize changes in behavior.
Spend time exploring and discovering what you want and what you need right now in your life. Being aware of this will allow you to take the next step: formulate a specific plan.
Once you have clear objectives, you have to define a plan with realistic actions. Focus on small steps you can take and repeat them to achieve your goals.
A study published in the British Journal of General Practice suggests that an effective behavior change strategy is a small-change approach.
Here are some examples of specific steps you can add to your routine and make them become habits:
According to some studies, the mere repetition of a simple action makes it habitual, because it is activated automatically after contextual keys. ( 3 )
In other words, when you repeat certain behaviors after certain situations, over time the brain accepts these actions as automatic.
For example, if you train before eating breakfast, the automaticity of this behavior will increase over time. Thus, if you get used to doing this activity every day before breakfast, the brain will automatically prepare to train, instead of having to make the decision consciously.
A good way to start is by choosing some habits that you would like to include in your morning routine, such as meditating, drinking a glass of water when you wake up, or going without a mobile phone to start the day.
According to some studies, it takes two months for an action to become automatic. So consistency is the key! When you have repeated a behavior for two months, it will become second nature.
Setbacks can appear at any time when you are trying to achieve a goal. There will be days when you won’t follow your plan perfectly, when you’ll skip a workout, when you’ll get carried away with cravings, or when you haven’t gotten enough sleep.
According to a group of researchers in London, occasionally skipping the routine of a behavior does not seriously affect the process of habit formation. ( 4 ) The automaticity of a habit is recovered as soon as the action is performed again.
Obviously, the longer you go without doing the actions, the more difficult it will be to regain “habit” status. So while it’s okay to skip the routine sometimes, try to get back to the plan as quickly as possible so you don’t break the habit.
Taking it too seriously will make it harder for you to stick to the habit. We want to work hard to be healthy, but there also have to be moments of pause. Set aside time each week for relaxation and reflection . Don’t forget about positivity and gratitude and rewarding your body for everything it allows you to do.
During this break time, you can take a relaxing walk, participate in a yoga class, get a massage, or read a book on the couch. Use this time to recharge your body and mind for another week of wellness.
Small changes can make a big difference in how you feel each day. Try these 5 tips to integrate some healthy habits. In the process, you will find that you are not only creating healthy habits, but you are also eliminating some negatives. Be constant and you will be able to focus on your goals.
My name is Debra Cargill, I live in my home in Springfield, Massachusetts and have been looking for new direction in my life. I started blogging recently and I've discovered a new passion in life. This blog is all about health, wellness, life issues and about lifestyle in general where I cover a broad range of topics on the subjects....Click to read on