Adopting and Maintaining Healthy Habits

It’s been said that it takes thirty days to develop a habit, whether it’s a good one or a bad one. From nutrition and fitness to mental health and financial stability, being proactive about healthy behaviors and habits can enhance your overall wellbeing. Why not dedicate the next month to cultivating some healthy living habits?

By Mimi Greenwood Knight

Begin with preventive care.

Talk to your primary care doctor about your health—where you are and where you’d like to be. Your doctor can offer guidance with the habits and behaviors you find most challenging and help keep you on track with preventive screenings and immunizations.

Tackle one step at a time.

Healthy lifestyle habits are for the long haul. Incorporate behavior changes one at a time. Stick with one habit until it’s part of your routine then move on to the next.


Keep the end in sight.

Change can be hard. By making the connection between your behaviors and your end goal—optimum health—you give yourself a reason for the behavior. Ask yourself with each behavioral change, “How will this help me live better?”

Keep goals realistic.

If you’re trying to reduce needless spending and normally buy a coffee every day, try cutting back to once a week. Or bring your lunch to work most days and look forward to lunch out on a certain special day.

Look for underlying motivation.

If you’re trying to eat less fast food, for instance, your underlying motivation might be that you have more energy and physically feel better when you don’t eat it. That realization should help you “just say no” to fast food going forward. Let this direct benefit of your effort be your motivation.


Adopting and Maintaining Healthy Habits

Know your stressors.

Stressful times can lead to relapse. Think about the things and situations that create stress. Is there a way to avoid those pitfalls? If not, tell yourself now how you’re going to handle them better, so you’re ready to deal with stressors without your new healthy habits taking a hit.

Create a relapse plan.

Instead of allowing slip-ups to derail you, create a relapse plan beforehand and have it ready in case you need it. When you do slip up, it’s okay. Forgive yourself and make the next right choice.

With these tips and strategies in your tool belt, let the next 30 days be the beginning of a new, healthier, happier you!