The reason why habits are so powerful is because they're subconscious, performed as part of a routine. They are activities that come naturally to you, so you don't work extra to make it happen. Simpler everyday actions like brushing your teeth and taking a shower were taught to you as a child. When you kept doing it every day over the years, they became a part of your lifestyle. Now imagine if you could use habits to make healthy changes to your life. In the past, you might have set goals to lose weight or avoid junk food, but failed to achieve them because you didn’t adopt them as habits. It’s quite frustrating to experience setbacks when you are making efforts to lead a healthy life, but change is very much possible. How? These easy strategies may be able to help.

Recognise your existing habits

Before you start off with anything new, observe the existing patterns of your life. Recognise what action leads to another and you would be surprised with the answers. For example, your habit of watching movies or playing games till late at night would be the reason your sleep pattern is getting disrupted which in turn makes you feel lazy and lethargic at work every day. Or when a friend calls you for a smoke break, you might be going along even though you do not need one at that time, increasing the number of cigarettes you smoke every day. Once you know the problem point, it becomes easier to break old habits and set new ones.

Another thing you can do is take responsibility for your behaviour, instead of blaming situations and circumstances. At the same time, look around and understand what healthy habits successful people have adopted into their lives. There might be more to it than just physical action. Happy and optimistic people often embrace holistic well-being, which includes being respectful, kindhearted, helpful, sharing love and gratitude, maximising their skills and strengths, etc.

Set a routine

Once you plan on what is best for you, you can start off by setting a routine. If your aim is to avoid snacking on junk food, ensure your home is stocked with only healthy food items. So whenever you are at the super market, make it a routine to always check the label for ingredients. That way, you can avoid unhealthy junk, become a more conscious consumer and make healthy eating a part of your life. If losing weight is your goal, instead of making it a temporary adjustment, adapt it as a routine. Dedicate a fixed time to fitness and workout diligently. It sure is not easy to go from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one. Your time might vary, energy might vary, but no matter what stick to it till you become habituated to it. It will take days or months before you really start adjusting to it, but when you do it will be worth it.

In the meanwhile, always look for inspiration in trainers and coaches to stick to the plan. There are many efficient apps developed to track your sleep, fitness and eating habits. Enroll and keep a daily check on your activities to develop new routines. When you start making healthy changes, you also start feeling better which is indeed all the motivation you need to keep going.

Add fun to your habits

Make your journey of building healthy habits as fun and interesting as possible. This will make it easier for you to push forward even at difficult times. A lot of people, mostly successful influencers we see online, turn their habits into hobbies and even careers. That’s one of the biggest motivation for them to keep going. Because they truly love what they do. Though that’s at a macro level, when you are starting off you can do little things that add meaning to what you want to adapt as a habit. If you are taking up clean eating, you can find exciting new recipes to make out of healthy ingredients. You will be surprised to know how tasty an oatmeal and honey pancake tastes or just how yummy a homemade chapati pizza is. Take it a notch further, share your new discoveries and creations on Instagram or make a blog where you can document your recipes. This would not only help others but also make your journey a lot of enjoyable. And in no time, you will be looking forward to your next healthy meal.

Reward yourself

Your habits are a commitment to yourself and nothing solidifies it more than rewards. When your goals are long-term, it takes a substantial amount of effort to keep going. And when you do so without giving up, you should be happily rewarding yourself. Every week that you avoid eating from out, treat yourself with your favourite choco chip latte over the weekend or when you have successfully ran 2km every morning for 3 months, its time you gift yourself those running shoes you have been eyeing for a long time. So every time you set up a goal, choose your reward and work towards it and see how it acts as a major motivating factor for you. Also, always remember to be kind to yourself. There might be times when you fall short or do not achieve your targets. Instead of feeling dejected, stay motivated and try again.

Broaden your horizons

A habit is strengthened when it's supported by other similar healthy habits. Many experts believe that when you adapt a healthy activity, it needs to have a 360-degree effect on your life to make it impactful. For example, if you have chosen to make health and well being your priority, you probably would have started off by building a habit of eating salads for dinner. But when you decide to broaden your horizon, you adapt other habits that fall in line with it. So, a few month later, you would decide to start meditation and yoga every morning. To keep it interesting, you might even take up cycling in the evening. This way, you make changes one by one and develop multiple habits over time that help you switch to a healthy lifestyle much easily.