With visibility into so many people's lives, we tend to pile on the self-improvement pressure and take little actual action towards our goals. Rather than forcing yourself into an all-or-nothing mindset, let’s consider achieving our health goals in a different way.
Lifestyle changes are like a steady mountain hike. True change incorporates the acknowledgement that executing small actions will have a large impact (like reaching the summit), and that results take time. I don’t know about you, but slow, consistent progress over time sounds way better to me than short, aggressive, exhausting starts and stops.
Our health encompasses so many elements of wellbeing. Intentional action, mental wellness, and spirituality are just a few components of a balanced life. Whether we want to become better business owners, parents or partners, or simply take better care of ourselves, changing our thoughts, believing in ourselves and our purpose, and taking conscious steps towards our goals can result in meaningful change.
I’m not here to tell you which habits to choose - live your life, girl. What I hope to shed light on here is that you can create more health in your life through the act of creating and maintaining the habits themselves - regardless of what they are.
So, how do we form healthy habits for the long haul?
Decide what habits you want to form.
Seems obvious, right? But it bears emphasis: any habits you decide to form in your life are up to you. Think about what you truly want to see manifest for yourself. Don’t worry about what you think you ‘should’ want, or base your decision on the advice of others. If it doesn’t ring true, it won’t last. Healthy is whatever you decide helps you the most.
Pinpoint your why.
The why, or purpose, is what helps us show up again and again, even when it feels hard. Why do you want to set this new habit? Instead of a “pass or fail” purpose like, “I want to lose 20 pounds,” think about the long-term payoff. Maybe you want more energy to enjoy your family, maybe you want to establish a positive inner voice, or maybe you want to cultivate a sense of honoring your body and its needs.
Deciding one day to completely reinvent your entire life is… a lot. Starting small is a much more realistic way to experience your new habit in motion while setting yourself up for success. For example, saying you want to run 2 miles a day when you get winded after a quick walk is going from point A to like, G. Instead, think about a smaller habit you can easily accommodate, like a daily walk on your lunch break. Your brain will be so happy with that win that you’ll build the confidence and momentum for creating another habit.
Above all, be patient with yourself. Forming healthy habits is about creating the kind of life you want to live. It’s supposed to take time. Be kind and give yourself permission to grow however you need to.