Changing current habits is much more difficult than developing new habits. There are some very effective things to do when trying to transform your habits for a lifetime. Healthy habits not only help you maintain a healthy weight but they help your skin, teeth, inner health, energy levels, and even your emotions.
Remember why you are doing this.
One of the biggest problems people have is a lack of dedication. Staying consistent is the best way to break and old habit and replace it with a new, better habit. Take a moment and ask yourself, “Why do I need to transform?” Is it because your inner health is imbalanced? Does something run in your family that you want to prevent? Do you have diabetes? Are you overweight or always fatigued? Maybe you struggle with depression.
Whatever the reason may be, write it on a sticky note and put it somewhere as a reminder. Every day that you see that note you will be reminded of the importance of change and this will help you stay on track.
Ditch the temptations.
A common habit that we change is eating. If you are trying to eat healthy but still have Twinkies in your pantry or that creamy, carton of iced coffee in your fridge than you will be tempted every time you get food. Take away those temptations and you will be forced to indulge in what you have.
Stock the fridge with fruits, vegetables, juices, and even dark chocolate. In the pantry put some nuts, peanut butter, and granola. You can have healthier versions of items that are a common indulgent (like the dark chocolate vs milk chocolate). Learn healthier recipes for your favorite meals. If you have the healthy ingredients, you will be forced to use those! At the grocery store, remember to stay away from middle isles and shop the parameter.
Keep a journal to reflect on.
A journal acts as extra motivation, you will be able to look back and reflect. Seeing how well you have improved can boost your spirits and motivate you to continue. I recommend writing your old habits in the first few pages of the journal so that you can later compare. On the new side you can track what you eat, how often, and even your weight.
For those who are breaking the habit of going out to eat regularly, tracking how much you spend can also be motivational because the grocery store is much cheaper than eating out each night.
Make the transformation a thing.
Bring family and friends in on this and make it a thing. There are many ways to go about this and it will vary depending on your reason for the transformation. If your goal is to lose weight, make the transformation a Biggest Loser challenge. You could also bring in family and friends to join the transformation to improve overall health as a group and act as support to one another.
There are often events for different diseases, disorders, and weight loss programs; you could get a group of people to join the transformation for an upcoming event to raise awareness. Having a group of others doing this with you will make things much easier, you will not break your progress because a friend takes you to lunch at a burger joint or if your family throws a deep fried outdoor party.
Remember to pace yourself.
Trying to cut old habits cold turkey and develop new ones is probably not going to work. You will need to progress into the new habits. One week you could go from sugary coffee every morning to just 3 mornings and black coffee or plain tea every other morning. Rather than throwing the chips away and switching right to nuts you can mix them, and then add more and more nuts until there are no more chips.
It is more than just weaning yourself away from current habits; you also don’t want to fall back once you progress. Having a slice of pizza or cookies here and there is okay but don’t cheat too soon. You may end up binging and then having to start the transformation all over again.
Together, these habits are sure to help you in your transformation but the most important thing is dedication. You need to stay focused on your goal and continue stepping toward that. Everyone hits a roadblock but you want to get around that, not turn around and start over.