Simple Steps for Beginning and Maintaining Healthy Habits
Most people admit to not upholding all the healthy habits they would like. Whether it’s the need to study, diet, or exercise, ration your TV consumption, or do the laundry, healthy routines can be hard to build. A process of small steps can lead to huge changes. Putting in the work upfront is well worth the benefits you’ll reap down the road. Here’s how to begin.
A recent study by University College, London, demonstrated that it takes approximately 66 days to form a habit, which the study defines as an activity a person completes automatically in response to built-in cues.
The triggers one uses when building habits is very important. For example, when your alarm goes off in the morning, you sit on the floor and do 50 crunches. Time, day, and situational components play a huge role in daily life. You must add these components for habits to stick.
The 30-Day Method
Some sources suggest the 30-day method. This is a short enough time to feel manageable. Daily calendar reminders can be useful to get through this initial month. If having a buddy is useful, a “30-Day Challenge” is sometimes easier to elicit support for than a long-term regimen.
Don’t feel pressured to change everything at once. Building good habits requires focus. If you divide that focus among ten different things, it isn’t likely that they’ll all succeed. Put changes in a priority order, and try to implement them one at a time.
Where to Start
If you want to jump-start a healthy lifestyle, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the top five health-related behaviors to implement are:
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night
These are surefire ways to improve your health.
Take it one step at a time, and you’ll be on the road to healthier habits before you know it!