How to Create Healthy Habits

By Meredith Fritz

We all have goals, it’s what drives us to be better. If you don’t have a fitness or health goal, pause, commit to a goal, and then come back. It is commonly said that the secret to reaching your health and fitness goals is consistency.  Do you want to get to the gym everyday? I’m going to help you. You need to create new habits to retrain your brain to work with you, not against you. We all know the start-and-stop-and-start-again diets and fitness routines never work. Until you stick with it you’ll never see those results you are looking for.

Habits are formed through 3 steps:

  1. The Cue - Something that triggers our brain to select an already formed habit.
  2. The Routine - This is the action that takes place.  This would be the actual act of working out or walking to the gym.
  3. The Reward - It’s the reward that  makes your brain decide if this action is worth remembering.  Over time this process becomes automatic and the cue and reward transition into a craving.

Now lets apply this to making habits that are healthy for you.  As mentioned earlier, we need getting to the gym or lacing up your sneakers to become an automatic habit. 

The habit we want to create is going to the gym after work. First off, don’t go home before hitting the gym, you will never get yourself back out of your apartment. Second, until the habit becomes automatic lets set yourself up for success with a healthy reward. For the first few weeks treat yourself to a healthy reward. One idea is grab your favorite protein bar or a cup of tea on your way home from your favorite coffee shop post-workout. It will give you something to look forward to after you've done your work in the gym. There is no magic number of days until your habit becomes automatic but 30 days is a safe bet.

Decide on your goal, choose a reward that motivates you to change your behavior and go! Before you know it you will be one step closer to feeling content in your bathing suit the next time you hit the beach with friends and family.  Plus, you now have know-how to knock your healthy goals off your list!

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