Creating Healthy Habits 101

Why is it Important and How to Stay Motivated

The first step to starting a new habit is determining the positive outcome of that behavior. What do you wish would happen if this was your goal? For example, many people who want to quit smoking hope for better health and an increased quality of life. They may also have financial goals they’re hoping will be realized as well. It can help concretely imagine what their lives could look like with these changes in place by creating mental images or writing them down on paper. Knowing there’s something waiting for them at the end makes it easier to get through difficult patches (such as being around friends). When we know our ultimate destination, it feels less daunting because all we need to focus on right now is getting started!

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Next, it’s important to create a plan of action for how you’re going to accomplish your goal. What are the steps or behaviors that need to happen in order? For those who want to stop drinking alcohol, this could be something like getting enough sleep and cutting down on caffeine intake so they can feel less tired throughout the day. It may also include making sure there is nothing around them in case temptation strikes (i.e., avoiding happy hour with friends), joining support groups where they know other people will understand what they’re going through, etc.). The more specific and practical we get about our plans, the easier it becomes!