Healthy behaviors are actions that promote health and wellness in your life, such as eating healthy foods and beverages, being physically active, and taking care of your mental health. These small daily actions can add up to large, long-term health benefits, which can lower your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, to name a few.
As we start the new year, now is the time that many start to think about what health behaviors they would like to change or improve. Changing behaviors that improve our health takes time, practice, and patience.
To help you be more successful in developing or improving healthy behavior, give these six tips a try:
- One Goal at a Time – Picking one healthy behavior to focus on can allow you to focus your attention and efforts on one area rather than on multiple goals.
- Small and Specific – Along with choosing one behavior at a time, choose something small and specific to make a good plan for success. For example, if you would like to eat better, choose one meal or snack that you can make a consistent healthy swap rather than a complete nutrition overhaul all at once.
- Add It in with Ease – Practice your new healthy behavior before, during, or after something you already do regularly. For example, if you are already packing a school lunch for your kids, pack your lunch for work to avoid eating out for lunch.
- Assess the Environment – Make your environment easy to practice your healthy behavior. If you want to incorporate mindfulness or meditation into your routine, find a quiet and peaceful place to practice it rather than somewhere with loud noises or distractions.
- Track Your Progress – Use a calendar, planner, or tracker to keep track of your progress. This can help you stay motivated even on a challenging day or week.
- Give Yourself Grace – Remember to be patient with yourself! Changing behaviors takes time and practice, so give yourself some grace if not every day is perfect. If your goal isn’t working, reevaluate your plan and try again.
Any small steps you can make to build on or improve your healthy behaviors can help you in the long run! Think about a specific health goal you want to focus on and make a plan for success.
By, Coach Sarah