Small Steps to Change Your Life
With our 12HH, we’re focusing on one healthy habit at a time. But when you string together all 12 of our healthy habits - it truly has the potential to change your life. (Keep in mind, however, that there are other habits that can work against your good intentions. It’s also vital not to smoke, to get adequate sleep each night, and to find ways to manage stress.)
Have you been following the 12HH? Do you want to tell us about your struggles and triumphs? Did you feel like you’ve really nailed one of our challenges? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to tell your stories in the book!
Habits are all about behaviors that become automatic in our lives. It doesn’t happen overnight. So give it 30 days. You can do a lot to change your life in 30 days. I previously wrote about some ways that you can make new habits stick. Here are some additional tips to help you adopt healthier habits:
Change your environment. Make sure your fridge and pantry help support your healthy habits. Get rid of tempting foods, snacks, and drinks that trigger regretted behavior. Keep fresh fruit in bowls on the counter, and wash and cut fresh veggies ahead of time and keep at eye-level in the fridge for easy snacking. Make the healthy choice the convenient choice.
See for yourself. Create your action plan and visualize yourself carrying it out. Researchers have found that visualization techniques—or mentally rehearsing buying, preparing, and eating healthy food—helps people actually change their eating habits.
Get inspired. Find someone who succeeded in making the positive changes you want to mirror. Use these successful role models to keep you motivated.
Celebrate victories. Pat yourself on the back for making some new, positive changes—no matter how small. When you begin to succeed, you gain self-confidence, which leads to greater success. As behavioral experts say, “nothing succeeds like success.”
Give it time. Don’t get impatient. It takes time to establish a new habit. One recent study found that it takes an average of 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic. So commit to 30 days, then the next month will be much easier to sustain.
What has helped you stay on track? Tell us the ways you are successfully changing your life.
(photo courtesy of michalfabik on flickr)