Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How to form healthy habits

Why do we struggle so much to form healthy new habits? We know the pattern like the back of our hand – at first, motivation is high and you may be able to stick with your new resolution with almost military-like precision, but after a while, motivation wanes and you find yourself slipping back into your old ways. Willpower simply isn’t enough; to successfully change your habits, you have to use a combination of clever techniques to trick your psyche. 

1. Ignore your big goals, set little ones instead

Hold off on signing up for that marathon just yet! A big goal might seem more appealing (it’s always nice to imagine ourselves as athletic champions), but aiming high and taking a lot on is often setting yourself up for failure, or only very short-lived success. To ensure that a healthy habit is formed for life, set smaller goals, such as committing to running ten minutes a day or doing a yoga session every morning. 

2. Plan it out, and be prepared

We all want to eat healthily, but the most convenient food is often unhealthy; the beautiful quinoa salads you see in magazines can feel like a hassle to make, especially if you have a busy schedule. It makes sense that the more difficult a task is, the less likely you are to do it. This is where good organisation comes in – getting everything you need ready ahead of schedule and having a clear guide can make the whole process easier and more convenient. A slow cooker is a useful investment, and can help you stick to your plan.

3. Do it with a friend
 
Everyone's willpower will fluctuate, it’s just human nature! Buddying up can be the perfect way to ensure that when your motivation’s low, there’s someone there to encourage you to keep going. If you want to increase how far you walk every day, organising dog walks in a new place with a friend can be a great way to keep it fun, and keep you committed. 

4. Understand your existing patterns, and use them

Smoking is perhaps the hardest bad habit of all to break, and it is the top priority when turning to a healthy new lifestyle. People tend to try ditching the cigs completely, but don’t think about how they'll be able to get through the most difficult times without them. If you always smoke after a meal, or perhaps before bed, expect that to be a time when you may need some extra help. At these times, have
an e-cigarette or meditate, and slowly that, rather than the cigarette, will become part of your daily routine. It’s a great way to ease yourself into a healthier habit without disrupting your schedule.
 
 
 
*This is a sponsored post.


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