How to build healthy habits
Getting started and keeping them up 🙌
Quick summary 💫
1️⃣ Healthy habits take time: They're great for improving physical and mental health, but they can take effort to establish, sometimes involving breaking old habits. It takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to become automatic 📆
2️⃣ Start with self-reflection: Begin by identifying your current habits. Note what they are, when you do them, and how they make you feel. Recognise if a habit is causing negative emotions or hindering your goals 🥅
3️⃣ Creating these new habits: make a plan for the healthy habits you want to cultivate. Focus on one change at a time, link new habits to existing routines, reflect on your progress, and be kind to yourself when you make mistakes along the way 💚
One way of getting us feeling our best is by having healthy habits ✔ They create a feeling of calm, allow us to build the life we want and have us taking care of ourselves without even realising. The tricky thing is that building healthy habits can take a lot of work. It might even involve breaking old habits first, to make way for the new, healthy ones. Research has shown it can take an average of 66 days (just over 2 months) for a new habit to become automatic 🧠
So, even though it can take some work, building healthy habits is a really beneficial thing to do for your physical and mental health ✨
How do I get started?
The best way to get started is by noticing your current habits 👀What habits do you have in your daily life? It could be anything, from your phone usage to not making your bed, to biting your nails, and much, much more. You can’t make plans to build new habits if you’re not aware of your current ones, so self-awareness is super important 💭
Note down what your habit is, when you do it and how it makes you feel. If there’s a particular reason you do it, that’s useful info too. You can do this in your head or by writing it down ✍️
How do I realise what habits are bad?
There are a few ways of working out if a habit is one that doesn’t work for you! It might be that:
- It makes you feel low, anxious, stressed or upset
- It doesn’t benefit your overall goals
- You’re only doing it occasionally
- You’re seeing negative results of the habit
- Other people are worried about you
If this sounds like some of your habits, it might be time to put some effort into breaking them!
This usually involves paying close attention to that habit and instead, replacing it with a healthier alternative 💚 For example, if you always go on your phone late at night before bed, try to reply to your messages an hour earlier and leave your phone on the other side of your room. Try reading a book, taking a relaxing bath or shower or something else that will get you in the sleep mood 💤
How can I make healthy habits?
Now that you’ve worked out what habits you don’t want to keep, it’s time to explore how to work some healthy habits in your daily life!
📃Make a plan: come up with a list of the healthy habits you want to create. Try to keep them specific and achievable, so you don’t get disheartened when you can’t quite meet them right away! Think about if they will work for you and they will contribute to the kind of life you want to live
1️⃣One at a time: it can be super overwhelming and actually counterproductive to introduce too many new habits at once. It’s better to stick to one change and really focus on that. If you’re finding it tricky to work out which habit is most important, have a think about what will make the biggest difference to your life. You can even ask your friends and family for their input too
🔗Link into your existing routines: if you want to drink more water, try having a glass with every meal. If tidying your room is something that you want to do, squeeze in an extra 10 minutes at the end of every day when you’re packing your bag for school. If you’d like to get into journalling or meditation, work some time for that in your bedtime routine to help clear your mind before sleep
🏆Reflect and reward: regularly reflect on your progress to keep your motivation up! Try tracking your new habit and check in with yourself - does this make me feel better? Am I seeing good results? Is it something I do all the time now? - and remember to reward yourself for doing so well! It’s not easy breaking and making new habits but your body and mind will thank you for it
💛Try to avoid your old habits: if there is a habit you’ve broken, try to remove reminders or temptations to fall back into it. It’s really easy to go back to old habits as they’re familiar and easy to us. Try to make your new habit the easier choice when you can - if you’d like to drink less fizzy juice and more water, remove the temptation altogether and try not to have fizzy juice in the house
I’ve messed up my new habit! What should I do?
Humans aren’t perfect and we all make mistakes all the time so please be kind to yourself. You’re making a big change in your life and you should be proud of yourself but allow yourself to mess up sometimes. If you forgot to make your bed one morning, that’s okay. If you didn’t drink your water goal today, that’s also okay. Take some time to work out why, and just try again tomorrow ❤️
luna hopes this helps you build healthy habits of your own! It’s great that you want to make the best life for yourself, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself through this process 💛
Sending positive vibes!