When it comes to lifestyle hacks, we all know the score: eat less sugar and processed foods, focus on wholesome fruits and veggies, and do more exercise. After all, it’s not rocket science. But why is living healthily so difficult for so many of us? The secret is to build habits that last instead of jumping from one health resolution to another. So, here are five tips that you can use to form healthy lifestyle habits that will kickstart you on the road to long-term success.
Switch off autopilot
Researchers have found that as many as 50% of our actions on any day are done purely out of habit. A habit is something that we do on autopilot – it leads you down a path without you realising you even took it in the first place. Every day, you’re faced with so many small decisions that can lead to a big impact, for instance, cooking a hearty and wholesome meal for the family or ordering a greasy takeaway. So, instead of operating on autopilot throughout the day, take ownership of the small decisions that make up your day. Getting the small decisions right will help you make considered choices to help you live the life that you want.
So many of us are overcome with excitement when planning lifestyle changes, which causes us to make huge commitments that are difficult to keep. Whether it’s buying an expensive treadmill or loading your fridge with veggies, it’s really difficult to make huge changes to your lifestyle and expect to stick to them. So, instead, start with small changes that you can make to your daily life. For instance, try meditating for one minute first thing in the morning or take the stairs instead of the lift at work. It’s amazing how such small changes can add up to deliver hugely impactful changes in your lifestyle, so don’t overlook the baby steps when you’re hoping to make progress.
Know your cravings
Every behaviour that we perform on a daily basis has a deep, underlying craving. Think about it for a minute. If you say to yourself, “I need a beer,” you certainly don’t need it to survive! Rather, the truth is that deep down, you’re motivated to sink a cold beer because it relieves the stresses of the day and gives you a pick-me-up that you can’t experience from any other drink at that moment in time. As soon as you understand the underlying craving behind your decisions, you can look for new ways of dealing with them. For instance, instead of popping the top off a cold beer at the end of your workday to relieve stress, you could do a HIIT workout and feel the stress and anxieties of the day leave your body in the same way.
Stack your habits
Behaviour doesn’t occur in isolation. For instance, nipping to the loo includes doing your business, then washing and drying your hands. You then remember to put your dirty towels in the laundry pile, which prompts you to remember to add washing powder to your shopping list. You then remember that you have to add dog food to your shopping list, and so on. This is important because building new habits is all about connecting our behaviours to help us. So, instead of operating on autopilot, use certain behaviours to cue other actions that lead to positive changes. For instance, after switching your coffee machine on, drink a glass of water. Before showering, meditate for two minutes. Stacking habits on top of each other is a great way of improving your lifestyle.
Track your habits
Last but not least, you need to track your habits from day to day. For instance, if you’ve committed to drinking healthful and delicious smoothies for breakfast, opting for Lovestruck’s subscribe and save option provides you with a welcome pack that includes a reward chart so you can track how you’re getting on. Improving your lifestyle is all about building and tracking good habits, so the sooner you begin, the quicker you will see the changes that you desire.