How To Stick To Health Routines

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While plenty of people aspire to be diligent about healthy routines, it often feels easier to stick to old habits—we’re so comfortable with the routine we already know.

To break out of a rut, many people need a leg up. So, here are some tips to help you stick to a new fitness regime or nutritional plan.

  1. Meaningful Motivation: It’s important to understand your own psychology when trying to stick to any new routine. Determine your motivation: the reason (or reasons) you want to start a new health routine. It can be helpful to put your “why” into words or pictures and post it in a place you’ll see it every day for constant reminders of your motivational message.
  2. Habits or Routines? Habits are individual actions (like brushing your hair), whereas routines are made up of habits (your morning routine might include brushing your hair, taking a shower, and getting dressed) that, often, we do without thinking. When establishing a new routine, it’s useful to break each routine down and identify the habits that you’ll be adding or adjusting.
  3. Achievable Goals: Give yourself benchmarks that you’re almost certain you can meet. For example, if you want to exercise more, perhaps your first goal is simply to walk around the block every day for a week. Success begets success. Small victories lead to much bigger ones.
  4. Mini-Mind Games: Make it harder to make excuses than to stick to the routine, even if that means playing little games with yourself. For instance, if your running shoes are in the bedroom doorway or your yoga pants folded atop the coffee maker, it’s harder to skip a morning workout.
  5. Accountability: Studies show that we’re much more likely to stick to a health routine if we’re not going at it alone. Find a workout buddy who has similar goals, like a running partner. It’s not only motivating to know you’re accountable to someone other than yourself, it’s fabulous to celebrate each milestone with others who are on the same path.
  6. Track Your Progress: Change can be so slow that it’s all but impossible to notice progress. When starting a new health routine with a specific goal in mind, it’s incredibly useful to track your progress each day so that you can see just how you’re doing over time—and give yourself a pat on the back. Write your workout plan and completed tasks down or try an app like Fitness Buddy.