We’re all always striving to create more healthy habits ultimately to improve our lives, but it can be hard to make ourselves stick to these habits and make them a solid part of our lives.

In our society of instant gratification where we expect results instantly, it can be really hard to develop habits, particularly good exercise habits, which require patience and time.

These tips will help you develop healthy habits that you’ll REALLY stick to.

Find your “why”

In order to start building a healthy habit, you need to have the motivation to decide to stick to it in the first place! You need to make the “why” something you truly believe in. It can be encouraging to have an aesthetic goal, but we tend to never think of ourselves as good enough. Visible progress comes slowly, so it’s important to have something that will keep you going, even when you’re feeling like you’re not getting anywhere. It could be waking up earlier in the morning so you have time to do the things that you love such as; building your business, getting your kids up for school or to go to the gym five times a week so you will fit into that summer dress AND will be able to run around with your grandkids!

Recognize the triggers

Every habit has a trigger, whether it be mindless snacking brought on due to thirst, boredom or nerves. The key way to break the cycle of negative habits is to recognize the trigger – once you have this, you can train yourself to create another healthy habit in its place, such as going for a walk, drinking a tea or listening to a podcast.

Make it easier for yourself

There are certain things you can do, such as laying out your gym kit the night before an early morning workout, which will encourage you to start these habits and keep them. Some other great ideas include, throwing out any junk food in your house and buying whole foods or batch cooking every Sunday night so you always have some great options in the house and aren’t tempted to order takeaway.

Reward yourself

In order to keep yourself going and to feel great, you deserve a reward! But you don’t have to make it a pizza and a beer after a week of healthy eating, although you could. A great way to reward and motivate yourself to train would be to buy yourself a new pair of trainers or book a massage!

Get those around you to keep you accountable

Book a fitness class with a friend and, not only will you not want to lose the class credit, you won’t want to let your friend down. Letting a few close friends know about your fitness goals can encourage you to stay on track, as they can give you pep talks when you’re struggling and can check up on your progress.

Start small

It’s great if you want to go from exercising once a week to six days a week, but this is really unlikely to stick if you rapidly increase your exercise. Instead, start with small steps: go twice a week for three weeks, and then three times a week. It’s the same with cooking more healthy meals: teach yourself one new healthy recipe a week, instead of trying to make all the recipes in a day!

These tips will not only help you to build healthy habits, but to actually stick to them until they’re such a huge part of your daily routine that you don’t even realise you do them!

Written by Natasha Howe