The first step is the easiest. The internet is full of different ideas on how to improve your health and well-being, just do some research and decide which healthy habits you want to start incorporating into your life. Then, simply pick a day and get started. However, sticking with something long enough for it to become a long-lasting healthy habit can be difficult. This is especially true if you lead a busy lifestyle. When work piles up and your stress levels increase, it can be easy to revert back to old habits. Listed below are some tips on how to create long-lasting healthy habits from Stanford Psychologist, BJ Fogg, and his team.
Creating Long-Lasting Healthy Habits
- Visualize the Results: To make healthy habits last, you have to make them something positive and not an excruciating task. To do this, you need to visualize the results and imagine how happy you will feel in the future because of your new habits. It is like harnessing the “dopamine effect.” If something makes you feel happy, your brain reminds you to keep doing it.
- Start Slow: Fogg explains that we should start with small actions that we can celebrate. He states, “It’s much easier and it’s much more reliable to start habits that are small and get them firmly rooted in the ground by feeling successful.” By associating the new habit with a feeling of positivity and reward, you are encouraging yourself to continue.
- Make it a Routine: If you attach a new habit to something you already do in your daily routine, then the habit will slowly become a part of your routine as well. If you are tying to incorporate more movement into your day, do a push-ups, sit-ups or squats during commercial breaks while watching TV in the evenings. Or every time you get up to use the restroom, take an extra walk around the office or even take the stairs to the restroom on the next floor.
- Be Consistent: According to Fogg’s research, if you stay consistent then baby-steps will turn into the full behavior you want. Creating long-lasting healthy habits won’t happen overnight, but with consistent small steps, they will happen with time!