Every year, people want to change for the better. They want to do something differently. Most importantly, they want to know how to make a habit stick.
Do you struggle to make healthy habits stick? If so, you’re far from alone.
Many of us find it difficult to create lasting changes in our lives, especially when it comes to our health, fitness, and nutrition programs.
But with the right tools, resources, and motivation, you can learn how to make a habit stick for life.
We’ll show you how to make healthy habits stick by breaking down the science of habits, providing practical tips for creating effective habits, and offering strategies for overcoming common obstacles.
Habits are automatic behaviors that we engage in without much conscious thought. They are formed through repeated actions and play a crucial role in our daily lives.
Creating healthy habits that stick requires an understanding of what habits are and how they work. There are three components of a habit: cue, routine, and reward.
Cue: The cue triggers the habit.
Routine: The routine is the behavior itself.
Reward: The reward is the positive outcome that reinforces the behavior.
For example, if you have a habit of snacking before bedtime, the cue might be feeling hungry, the routine might be reaching for a bag of chips, and the reward might be the satisfying crunch and flavor.
By understanding the components of a habit, we can begin to identify our own habits, make intentional changes, and create new, healthy habits.
Creating a Healthy Habit
Creating healthy habits requires more than just good intentions. This involves identifying the cues that trigger our habits, changing the routine to a healthier behavior, and finding a new, positive reward.
Setting Specific Goals
It all starts with setting the right goals for yourself.
Setting a specific goal is essential for creating a healthy habit. Without a clear goal, it’s challenging to know where to start, what progress looks like, and how to stay motivated.
When setting a goal, it’s essential to make it SMART:
By following this framework, you can ensure that your goals are realistic, and you can track your progress along the way.
Planning and Tracking Progress
Creating a healthy habit also involves planning and tracking your progress. This means breaking down your big goal into smaller, more manageable steps, and tracking your progress as you go.
Planning helps to ensure that you have a clear roadmap for achieving your goal, while tracking helps to keep you accountable and motivated.
Tips for Making Habits Stick
How long does it take to make a habit stick? Around two months, according to experts.
Making healthy habits stick can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to increase your chances of success.
Starting Small and Building Momentum
One of the most effective ways to make a habit stick is to start small and build momentum over time.
For example, if your goal is to exercise regularly, start by taking a 10-minute walk each day and gradually increase your time and intensity.
By starting small, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and increase your chances of success.
Consistency Over Intensity
Another key to making habits stick is consistency over intensity. It’s better to do a little bit every day than to do a lot once in a while.
Consistency helps to build momentum and makes it easier to stick to your habits over the long term.
Celebrating Small Wins Along the Way
Celebrating your progress can help to keep you motivated and focused on your goals.
Whether it’s treating yourself to a small indulgence or sharing your progress with friends and family, taking time to acknowledge your successes can help you stay committed to your healthy habits.
The Role of Social Support in Habit Formation
Social support can play a critical role in forming healthy habits. Having a supportive community can provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability.
The Power of Community in Achieving Your Goals
Community support can provide a sense of belonging and help to maintain motivation. Joining a group with similar goals can provide encouragement and inspiration, and help you stay on track.
Finding Support Networks
There are many ways to find social support, including family, friends, online communities, or finding a coach or mentor. Support can come in many forms, from a workout buddy to an online forum, to a professional mentor.
The Benefits of Accountability
Accountability is a critical component of habit formation. It helps to keep you on track, motivated, and focused on your goals.
Finding an accountability partner, such as a friend, family member, or coach, can help you stay accountable and committed to your habits.
Let Us Help You with Your Habits
If you’re struggling to form healthy habits and need support from a team of expert nutritionists, dieticians, and coaches, we’re here to help.
Our team can provide personalized guidance and support to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
Schedule a free consultation today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you.
- Gardner B, Lally P, Wardle J. Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice. Br J Gen Pract. 2012 Dec;62(605):664-6. doi: 10.3399/bjgp12X659466. PMID: 23211256; PMCID: PMC3505409.
- van der Weiden A, Benjamins J, Gillebaart M, Ybema JF, de Ridder D. How to Form Good Habits? A Longitudinal Field Study on the Role of Self-Control in Habit Formation. Front Psychol. 2020 Mar 27;11:560. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00560. PMID: 32292376; PMCID: PMC7135855.