Forming and maintaining healthy habits is difficult for everyone, but it is not impossible.
Actually, there are 5 simple steps to maintaining healthy habits which can help anyone reach their fitness goals. These simple steps can provide motivation and accountability so that the journey to good health is easier. They include the following ideas:
- Keep the goal visible.
- Learn the facts.
- Establish a method of accountability.
- Allow for some flexibility.
- Provide incremental rewards.
Taken individually, all of these 5 simple steps to maintaining healthy habits are simple and easily mastered. Together, they are the key to increased energy and well-being.
Keep the Goal Visible to Embrace Healthy Habits
The first step is to keep the goal in sight at all times. This may involve placing pictures of fruits and vegetables on the refrigerator door or taping a picture of a healthy body image on the mirror. Writing the desired new habit on sticky notes and placing them next to the computer screen, in the purse or billfold, by the clock, and any other place the eyes are regularly drawn during the day can be extremely motivational.
Learn the Facts – Get the Information to Inspire Change
The second of the 5 simple steps to maintaining healthy habits is to get the information which will inspire change.
Reading books, magazine, and news articles which provide scientific data to substantiate the health claims of the new habit being established will make the end result of the efforts expended seem well worth it. For example, grasping the grim statistics about smoking and obesity will deter behaviors that lead to these habits. Also, learning about the specific benefits of making good eating choices and exercising regularly will give several great reasons to keep these habits in the forefront.
The next of the 5 steps in maintaining healthy habits, establishing accountability, may be the most important. Humans seem to need an extra set of eyes watching to keep them straight; this is the reason for a boss on the job.
Although maintaining healthy habits does not require a boss, it does work better with a partner. Whether the goal is to eat better, exercise more, quit smoking, or something much harder, a partner makes it more difficult to give up. This is the rationale exercise and diet groups of various kinds are generally more successful than individual effort.
Allow for Failures and Reward Your Achievements
The last two of the 5 simple steps to maintaining healthy habits are the easiest. Failure will come; allow for it. If a day comes when the new habit takes a back seat to other pressing matters, forgive, and press on. The intention is to develop the habit for a lifetime. This may be encouraged by establishing small goals and setting aside a reward for reaching them. As long as the reward does not sabotage the goal, such as a drink for an alcoholic, it should motivate you to keep moving forward.