Busting off unhealthy habits is never easy. Eating unhealthy foods, not having enough exercise, snacking while in front of your computer – these are common habits that many people tend to practise for so many years. Although difficult, changing for the better isn’t impossible. In a new study, researchers from the Northwestern University found better ways to help people achieve long-term changes in their lifestyle.
Below are simple ways to make positive, healthier changes in your life:
Set Clearer Goals – you’ll never going to make changes in your life without knowing what specific things (or habits) you want to change. When deciding what your goals are, you need to be specific and clear. If you aim to lose weight, you don’t just say you’re going to lose weight. You must be specific. Know how much fats you intend to burn and how long will you be able to do this. It’s always a great idea to begin small. For instance, the researchers suggest starting by eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, spending 90 minutes less in leisure activities like watching TV or facing your computer, and so on. Try to maintain this habit for two weeks and you’ll realise that it’s going to be easy.
Make sure you’re staying on track – the researchers also suggest developing an accountability check. This involves making sure that you’re keeping yourself away from the bad habits and little by little, shifting to a healthier lifestyle. It’s better if you can have someone – a friend, your partner, or relative who will check on you from time to time. Don’t worry; you need not do this all the time. Once you have developed your new habits, after 3 or 4 weeks, you can cut down the daily checks and make it just once or twice a month until such time that you no longer need it.
Reward yourself – in the study, researchers paid the participants for sticking to their goals during the first three weeks. You can also do this. For instance, you can ask your friend to take hold of your money or anything else you value the most. And every time you complete a week of practising healthy habits, you can have a portion of it back until you gained your valued treasures again.
Don’t expect that during your first try, you’re going to hit your target right then and there. It takes time, really. You might experience slipping in from your day to day targets. But it’s okay – as long as you get yourself back on track. You can do it. For sure you will.
Source of this article: