TIPS AND ADVICE

Good habits, good health

Good health for life has a lot to do with good habits. It isn’t always easy to motivate yourself to make healthy choices, but if you make those healthy choices a normal part of your life, then you are more likely to stick with them.

Take Sue as an example. Sue had a habit of stopping by a coffee shop every morning on the way to work. While grabbing her coffee, Sue couldn’t resist the doughnuts on display and would regularly grab herself a sweet treat. When she decided to start eating more healthily, it wasn’t easy to change  from a “bad” habit (daily doughnuts) to “good” (healthy eating), however she realised it can be done! If you’re like Sue and are ready to change an unproductive habit, try these suggestions.

Consider the consequences of your habits

Before you begin changing your habits, it can help to think about the consequences of your current and new habits. For instance, Sue began to think of the empty calories and potential weight gain associated with her daily doughnut habit. Then she thought about how a healthier breakfast would help her feel more energetic and fit.

Replace the bad habit with a good habit

Sue knew that if she had to rely on motivation alone to resist the doughnuts in the coffee shop, she wouldn’t be able to. Her first step was deciding not to go to the doughnut shop at all. But it was even more helpful to replace this old habit with a new one – taking a nutritious and convenient breakfast from home, such as fruit and a nutritious shake.

Change the program — patiently

Reprogramming yourself requires patience. After all, it took a while to develop certain habits; it will take some time to change them. Expect it to take about six weeks to truly adopt a new habit. And remember – practice makes perfect!

Be prepared

Until your new actions become automatic, good planning helps you stay on track. In Sue’s case, she stocked up on fruit, healthy snacks and nutritious shakes so she wouldn’t be caught empty-handed, giving her an excuse to have the doughnuts.

With a willingness to change, plus patience and preparation, you too can replace any unproductive habit with a good one that leaves you healthier and happier!