Like most people, I’ve faced challenges when it comes to developing healthy habits.
We all know that it’s important to eat right, exercise regularly, and carry out other healthy activities that help us live longer and more meaningful lives.
But for me, it was realizing that I needed to be a better parent, husband, and boss that led to my decision to make lasting changes for my health.
Why developing healthy habits is hard
Whenever we have to start a new habit like running or drinking more water, we use a great deal of brainpower.
Our brains constitute just 2% of our body and use up 20% of our body’s total energy. When we try to change our habits, we have to make daily decisions. We exert our minds to stop bad habits and start new ones.
In a very short time, we experience decision fatigue. Our brain is tired and needs more glucose, and because of this we revert to our former habits or consume sugar and other processed foods to get an energy boost.
We end up in a downward spiral which makes it hard to start a new habit, even if it can change our lives for the better.
Ways to make healthy habits easier
Here are the tips I use to develop healthy habits. I used these tips to make drinking the necessary amount of water every day easier and more natural.
Start with why
The first thing you need to do is create a meaningful reason for why you’re undertaking a new habit.
For me, having children made me realize that I had to be as healthy as I could be if I wanted to be a good father.
I also have to juggle multiple roles as a business owner. I have to grow my business, support my employees, make my customers happy, and at the end of the day, I have to have enough energy to be there for my family.
What’s your reason for trying to improve your health?
It’s important to list your big ‘Why’ to keep you motivated in the long run. Because you will face bumps on the road and having a solid Why will keep you working on your habits.
Break your habit down into smaller goals and steps
When I wanted to start drinking more water, I first thought about how much water I had to drink on a regular basis.
I knew that the minimum amount of water I had to drink was 80 oz every day.
And I realized that if I broke this down, I could drink 20 oz of water, four times during the day and this would be an easier but defined goal that I could accomplish.
Make your habit easier or more accessible
Making your habits smaller is a great first step. But to make your habit a natural part of your routine, you also need to make it easy to perform.
To make drinking enough water something that I do without thinking, I started by placing a 20 oz glass of water by my bed every night.
So that when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do reach for my water and get done with a quarter of my goal for the day.
In the same way, I simply started drinking a tall glass of water with every meal. And in this way, I meet my daily water drinking goal.
Wean away bad habits
Your good habits are sometimes replacements for existing poor habits. For example, you may want to stop drinking soda and have more water instead.
Don’t try to change this habit abruptly. If you have three glasses of soda a day, then start by having two.
Remember that when it comes to building habits, slow and steady does win the race.
Building new habits are often challenging. But if you have the right mindset and approach it in a step-by-step manner, you can make your habits into a lifestyle.
I’ve shared how I build habits so that I can do things like drinking more water and exercising without really thinking about them.
Try the suggestions I’ve made here and you’ll be certain to not just boost your health, but also feel happier and more productive.