Part of living a healthy lifestyle is transforming your new knowledge, eating plan, exercise plan or inspiration into a daily habit. Teachers, bosses, medical professionals, life coaches, and just about every successful person stresses the importance of forming good habits, but have you ever wondered why habits are important?
You’ll find here seven benefits to forming good habits and some practical tips to start creating new habits today.
Habits are who you are
What is a habit? A habit is something
you do daily without thinking much about it. You probably have a habit
of waking at a certain time, brushing your teeth a certain way, and
perhaps calling your mom once a week on a Tuesday night. Habits become
such a part of your routine that they become who you are. Want to be a
different person? Just start a new habit!
You can change your habits
The nice thing about habits is that you can change them.
Old habits may be hard to break — it seems that the worst habits are
the hardest to break — but it is possible. If you want to start eating
healthier, all you have to do is skip your morning donut until it
becomes second nature to turn down pastries at breakfast.
Good habits allow you to reach your goals
If you wanted to become a marathon
runner, you wouldn’t just jump into the first marathon offered by your
city. It takes months or years of training to become fit enough to
compete in a marathon race. Step one of reaching any goal is
establishing a daily habit. If you want a better job, you must start the
daily habit of looking for work. If you want to be able to lift 300
pounds, you must start the daily habit of lifting weights.
Habits set a foundation for life
Since habits become you, the habits
that you choose to follow set the tone for your entire life. If you have
a habit of greeting your children with joy, you will become a joyful
person. If you have a habit of eating a vegetable with every meal, you will become a healthy person.
Habits are step one of your life plan
If you have a life goal, it isn’t the
goal itself that will help you reach your dreams, it is the habits that
you form and follow while you are trying to get there. Habits are the
basic building blocks of reaching any goal or succeeding in any plan.
Habits eliminate wasted time
As humans, we tend to waste a lot of
time. Most of us would rather not do anything difficult or challenging.
However, if we create good habits, we become more efficient and this
reduces how much time we waste.
Habits can replace motivation
We all have days when we just don’t feel like
working, exercising or eating well. But when these things are habits,
they become second nature and we do them without thinking. When healthy
eating becomes a habit, although you may eat one slice of cake today,
you probably won’t eat more and will go right back to making healthy
Easy ways to start new habits
Try these tips for implementing new, good habits in your life:
Research shows that having both a large goal and small steps to reach
it (your habits) is the most effective way to succeed. Your daily habits
will help you achieve your goal.
Create a behavior chain:
Rather than the abstract goal of “I need to exercise daily,” create an
action chain that helps you get there, such as, “After I get home from
work, I will change into exercise clothes, socialize for thirty minutes,
and then go for a run.” Research shows this kind of planning is more
effective for creating healthy habits.
Don’t fall off the wagon: When
you are starting a new habit, little things can derail your effort
before it becomes a habit. You can prevent this by finding out what
causes you to want to quit and eliminating that trigger. You may also
find ways to make it easier to settle in to your new habit. It could be
as simple as changing into exercise clothes as soon as you walk in the
door or removing junk food from the house.
Creating a foundation of healthy
habits will benefit your life from today far into the future. This is
not an impossible task and a few simple tricks can make the process much
easier. Follow these simple strategies to get on track and see your
—The Alternative Daily