When I wanted to build healthy habits in the past, I used to start with ambitious plans and goals: I would go to the gym for intense workouts, or stop eating any kinds of sweet desserts for a while. Only to go back to my previous habits within a few days or weeks.
Well, I was doing it all wrong.
How to Build Healthy Habits
What has worked for me has been building moderate, but consistent new habits. I try to work on one new healthy habit until it truly becomes a habit. Then, I move on to another habit.
Over the last few years, I’ve improved my strength, weight, and nutrition through small changes at a time. I’ve summarized the learnings from my research & personal experience on the topic of building healthy habits in the “Building healthy habits” scorecard that you can find below.
This scorecard will give you an easy-to-read and easy-to-remember summary of the top 3 ways to successfully build new healthy habits.
The Healthy Habits Scorecard:
Top 3 Ways to Build Healthy Habits
1. Kick-Start Your Habit the Right Way
The first way is to kick-start your new healthy habit the right way. That’s right: how you get it started is critical. You need to set yourself up for success by writing down a quick plan, even if it is just 1 sentence. Your plan should describe WHAT, WHERE and WHEN.
Starting your new habit with an existing established habit, and starting small to focus on early wins is also important. For example, if your goal is to start a new daily work out, start it right before breakfast in the morning, or before you watch TV in the evening.
Research shows that following this advice can increase your chances of successfully building your new healthy habit by well over 100%.
Here is your scorecard for kick-starting your habit the right way:
Learn more about kick-starting your habit the right way by reading my post: The Best Ways to Start A New Habit.
2. Set Your Your Environment for Success.
The next step is crucial. The good news is that it is relatively easy as well! Setting up your environment for success will go a looooong way in helping you build your new healthy habit successfully: make your new healthy habit very visible in your home.
For example, if you want to start working out daily, setup a space in your home just for working out and have a workout mat or your favorite home workout equipment out & ready at all times. This will increase your chances of building your new habit – by at least 30%.
Here is your scorecard for setting up your environment for success:
Learn more about setting up your environment by reading my post: 6 Tips to Build Healthy Habits for Life.
3. Keep the Habit Going Forever.
Last but not least, I have several tips for you to keep your new healthy habit going on forever. It might be dead-obvious, but you should pick a habit you actually enjoy. Many people attempt to build new healthy habits that they just HATE! I am guilty of this myself. The truth is that you are not likely to keep a habit that you don’t truly enjoy.
Additionally, research shows that having friends or family with similar healthy habits is crucial to help you build your healthy habit.
One of my favorite strategies to help me build a habit is the strategy of monitoring: whether you’re trying to exercise more or eat healthier, or build just about any other habit, monitoring your progress can help.
Here is your scorecard for keeping your habit going forever:
And that’s it! If you like this advice, make sure you save the link on Pinterest or share the link.
Here is a quick summary to help you build your next new healthy habit:
- Kick-Start Your Habit the Right Way:
1.1: Describe your habit in 1 sentence (WHAT, WHERE, WHEN)
1.2: Start your habit with an existing established habit
1.3: Start small to focus on building consistency
- Set Up Your Environment for Success:
2.1: Make your new habit VERY visible in your home.
2.2: Make your new habit VERY easy.
- Keep the Habit Going Forever:
3.1: Pick a habit you enjoy
3.2: Spend time with a friend with similar healthy habits
3.3: Track your progress
3.4: Change your habit.
Learn more about keeping your habit going on forever by reading my post: 6 Tips to Build Healthy Habits for Life.