I know what it is like to feel stuck in a rut at times. You get busy with work, school, kids, or just life in general! You might find yourself eating unhealthy and not exercising like you used to. It can be hard getting back into it. However, healthy habits are important to stick to starting when you are young. They are the key to living a long, healthy, and happy life. Building healthy habits is not easy, but these three steps can help you succeed!
Make a Plan
Start by figuring out what habit you want to change. Ask yourself why. Write that down on a sticky note and leave it somewhere you will see daily, like your mirror. Next, figure out the long term goal. You may want to gain or lose weight, or increase the fruits and vegetables that you eat. Decide how much/how many a day or week. Choose your action and make it SMART.
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – relevant
T – time bound
So, instead of saying “I will eat more fruit”, make it SMART by saying “I’ll eat a bowl of fruit for dessert on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Tracking a habit makes you more likely to succeed. It can help you learn as you go. It also helps keep yourself accountable. You can use a notebook, food diary, or apps to help you track your goals. Or, you can rely on social support. If you want to exercise more, find a gym buddy or someone to go on walks with. Also, you can use a calendar to write down the days you want to achieve your goals on.
Recognize Your Success
Creating new habits with a long term goal can be intimidating. However, within the long term goals, recognize the small wins. If your goal is to lose 5 lbs before the new year, celebrate each pound loss. Buy yourself a new workout set or sunglasses! Be proud of your little successes. In the end, they add up to a large success!
Written by GUADS staff member Emily, with contributions from cdc.gov