Published: 01/29/2014 - Updated: 02/03/2016
Author: Miriam Reyes
The word "habit" refers to a repetitive behaviour of a person; thus healthy habits are behaviors that promote health. After reflecting and giving accounts of our unhealthy habits, the need arises for us to create healthier habits.
Our goal may be to exercise, prevent diabetes, lose weight, reduce alcohol consumption, etc. All these goals can be achieved through healthy habits that will develop with repetition, therefore consistency is a key factor. Research has revealed that it takes 21 days to create a habit.
"Today" is the day
Creating healthy habits is not an easy task and one of the most difficult steps is to start. It is common when thinking of starting a new healthy habit, the ”now” never comes, as we can leave it until " tomorrow" , until "next week" and with many successive days like this, the day to begin never comes. That is why we must decide without any hurdles to start once.
Habits that make you happy
Did you know that people who acquire healthy habits are also happier? Healthy habits provide a better quality of life and recent studies at the University of Chicago have reported that having healthy habits also allows us to clear our mind of worries such as "I should exercise more", "I have to do something to maintain my weight", etc. In this way, you are free to set yourself new goals and challenges, creative work, or just enjoy life more.
Everyone can do it
Maybe you think you will never get there, but is not like that. Everyone is able to acquire healthy habits and it is important to know that we are not born with them. Habits are acquired through repetition, such as brushing your teeth: perhaps your parents had to repeat it many times before it became a habit for you. Today, as adults, our parents are no longer responsible for our habits and so the responsibility to develop new and healthy habits is ours.
How to create new habits
First, identify which aspect you want to improve in your life. You could, for example, want to avoid being sedentary, which in this case is a lack of exercise. Once you have made the decision, establish your strategy and in this case, healthy habits will help you reach your objective. It could be using the car less, taking the stairs instead of using an elevator, establishing a morning routine to change in the morning.
The key is repetition and consistency, clear your mind of phrases like "it is not the right time", "I'm lazy", "today I do not want to", “better another day". Keep in mind that to create a habit, you must repeat it until it forms part of your routine, almost automatically.
Fortunately for us, habits are adopted, and later on we can maintain them without problems. For example, changing the consumption of soft beverages to natural water: perhaps there are people who do not like water. However, if you put your mind to it and whatever happens, you consume water instead of fizzy drinks, at the end of month you will realise that drinking water has become a “custom" or habit and therefore it is not necessary to consume soda anymore.
Healthy habits are the key to not returning to our previous behaviours and therefore our past conditions. A clear example is diet: If you choose a quick diet to lose weight in a week or two, it is quite possible that even if you work hard, once you return to your past habits you will regain the weight which you lost.
Healthy habits that you can incorporate into your life:
- Walking, exercising
- Drinking less alcohol
- Avoiding staying up late
- Reading daily
- Eating healthily
- Establishing a routine of relaxation
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