Do you yearn for a healthier life? Many of us want to make changes in our daily lives to help improve our health. But how do we even start? And how do we make those habits stick?
It may help to have a few strategies — or life hacks — that you can use to help you make progress toward your goals. Here are 7 tactics to try:
Rally around your reasons. Knowing the why behind your goal may be a powerful motivator. Will your new habits help you to feel better, be healthier or do something meaningful to you? You know your reasons best.
Ask for support. Making changes may be easier when friends and family get behind your goals. For instance, you might ask them to exercise with you or not smoke around you. Your doctor might be a good resource too.
Give yourself a gift. Rewards may help keep you working toward important milestones. Just remember to keep them healthy too. How about a new book or a special coffee blend?
Take one small step. Most goals are easier when you break them down into smaller steps. Let’s say you want to lower your blood pressure. Start with one change. For instance, this week, you might fill your prescription. Next week, maybe you can try out a new heart-healthy recipe. Build on each success.
Be kind to yourself. Sooner or later, you may have a setback. If this happens, tell yourself it isn’t the end. Think about how you can avoid the setback next time. Then get right back at it.
Don’t get stuck in a rut. Variety keeps things interesting. And interesting means you may be more likely to keep a good thing going. No matter how good they are for you, you’ll get bored if you do the same exercise or eat the same foods over and over again.
Use positive self-talk to keep you going. Don’t let doubt overshadow your accomplishments. Tell yourself things like, “Look how far I’ve come. I’ve got this!”