4 Lessons to achieve consistent and healthy new habits

4 Self-care tips on how to create new healthy habits

The New Year isn’t the only time of the year when you can set goals for yourself and aim for a healthier lifestyle. While changing your life for the better is something everyone wishes to do, not many people manage to achieve it. Try these 4 self-care tips to help you find new and healthier habits, as well as the motivation to do them and the best ways to be consistent about them.

1. 1. How to choose new habits that fit you

Choose new healthy habits according to your own needs and wishes.

Looking up to others and receiving inspiration on new healthy habits you can follow isn't wrong at all. However, trying to fit them into your personal lifestyle as they are can bring difficulties. The key is to incorporate a new behavior because you believe it's healthy and it works for you, not because it's trendy or because you feel like you should follow it.

For instance, if you're not a fan of running then you won't benefit from a daily morning run, no matter how many people in your social circle are doing it. Pushing such habits into your life without considering whether they work for you or not can be stressful and demotivating, especially when you start to feel bad for not enjoying them. Switch them up instead: the important part of running is moving your body, not the actual act of running, so you can try cycling or Pilates instead, according to the kind of exercise you enjoy the most.

2. 2. How to incorporate new habits

The best way to incorporate a new habit into your routine is to tie it to an already existent one.

One of the reasons why some New Year resolutions last less than a week is that they include completely new behaviors that require drastic changes in your everyday life. Instead of having to alter your whole routine to squeeze in a new habit, try to tie it to the ones you already do. Think about an old habit and which new one you can do right after or during it. This piggyback technique will help you carry out your resolutions with fewer needs of motivation and willpower, which will make the transition much easier and faster.

Let's say, for example, that one of your plans for the New Year was to incorporate more exercise in your daily routine. You don't need to look for ways to clear one exact hour of your morning or afternoon to fit a complete workout session. Instead, choose several actions you do daily that present small time windows to squeeze in a few squats, a one-minute plank, or some weight-lift. These actions could be waiting for your coffee to be ready or killing some time while your food's in the oven.

3. 3. How to learn from failure

If you don’t start to learn from your mistakes, you’re far more likely to soon give up on your goals.

People often stray off their New Year resolutions once they failed on their first or second tries to achieve them. The belief that you should go big or go home, either walk a flawless way to your goals or give up on them the first time you make a mistake, can be harmful and will most likely lead to nothing. Learning from your failures, understanding that they aren't the end of the world and that you can certainly get back on track whenever you feel like it without judgments, will help you succeed.

One way to learn from your mistakes is through closely analyzing them and understanding both what went wrong and its possible solutions. If a stressful event caused you to binge-eat and consequently ruined your diet, don't give up on it! Take a step back and try to think about what you could've done in that situation (get healthy snacks, replace binge-eating for another stress-relieving activity, avoid that stressful situation in the first place) and use the knowledge to prevent this from throwing you off your diet again.

4. 4. How to treat yourself more kindly

Being encouraging and kind to yourself will make you most likely to be motivated towards new goals.

While it may seem like being extra critical of yourself is a good way to push forward and towards new achievements, it's often best to take a step back and talk to oneself from a more positive position. Practicing self-compassion includes encouragement and affirmation of what you're doing and recognition of what you've achieved. It's not always about looking always at what's in front of you and what you should achieve, but also at what you've already done. Being proud of your journey isn't giving up on new dreams or lowering your motivation to achieve them!

This positive change has been proven to have good effects on your future approaches to new goals. Not only will you be more likely to succeed, but you'll also present lower procrastination levels, better stress management, and higher chances to eat healthily and exercise often. If you don't know how to talk kindly to yourself, try believing and treating yourself like a close friend or family member and choose the approach you would take if they were in your position.

Victoria Thais

A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info

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