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How to create good health habits that stick

Following goals is critical to ensuring success on any weight loss journey, but sometimes we lose direction and our goals seem further and further away. By making small but achievable changes each day, you can soon get back on track.

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Did you know that habits account for about 40 per cent of our behaviour every day? That explains why it’s so important to create good health habits that stick, because this is one of the key secrets to lasting weight loss.

It’s so important to prioritise goal-setting when embarking on any self-improvement programme, and breaking the big goals down to mini goals helps provide the momentum that will allow you to reach the big goals.

The thing that most people find very hard to do when they’re trying to lose weight is to change their behaviour towards food and maintain a consistent healthy lifestyle. It’s a constant challenge to use willpower to be consciously on top of your eating the whole time.

But it’s only through repeating the same behaviour day in and day out that healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle become automatic.

When this happens you don’t even have to think about it because your subconscious has taken responsibility for your behaviour.

One of the reasons so many people struggle to lose weight and keep it off is it just becomes too hard.

If you think about your eating habits over the past 10 years, they’ll probably resemble something like a rollercoaster ride rather than a cruise!

Nearly every habit you have today, good or bad, is the result of many small choices and decisions made over time.

And it’s the repeated pattern of small healthy behaviours that will lead to long term weight loss. 

HOW TO CREATE HEALTH HABITS THAT STICK

1. Make them really small and easy

Start with something that is so easy that you need no motivation to do it. If you have a fitness goal of 50 squats a day start with five and work your way up. Do these at a regular time. Make it easy enough that you can get it done without motivation.

2. Develop the habit in very small ways

One per cent improvements add up surprisingly fast and make you feel great when you know you’re achieving something.

Rather than trying to do something huge from the beginning, start small and gradually improve. Along the way, your motivation will increase, and your habit will gently become automatic – which is what you want!

Gradually increase the number of squats by one or two each day. Consistency is the key and you’ll be amazed how well you do!

CREATE A CORNERSTONE HABIT

A cornerstone habit is something you begin your day with and this particular action sets you up for the rest of the day. I always begin my day with some exercise. It’s either walking the dog, going to the gym or playing tennis (at 7.30am!).

I have been doing this for five days a week for many years and I simply can’t start the day without it. Even on holiday I have to swim/walk/jog in the morning before everyone else is up.

What could you set as your cornerstone habit?

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