How to Start a Healthy Habit

Part of the Cheat Sheet series

tennis shoes , water bottle, and apple with the healthy habit cheat sheet

Let’s talk about how to start a healthy habit…

Figuring out how to start a healthy habit can be overwhelming, and knowing how to do it in a way that makes long-term success more likely isn’t always clear. In this cheat sheet, I’ve provided you with my top seven tips plus a bonus tip for helping you set and reach your health goals.

How to use these tips

Here’s a personal example where I used techniques from the Cheat Sheet. A few years ago, I realized that my constant snacking was not doing me any health favors. Here’s how I approached this using the tips on the Cheat Sheet:

My big lofty goal was to not snack several times throughout the day. That goal pointed me in the right direction, but it didn’t really help me get there.

  1. In order to succeed I needed a small actionable goal: Make snack time a planned time ONCE a day. I set the snack time for between 2:00-3:00 in the afternoon. 
  2. I set myself up for success by placing snacks on higher shelves and out of sight in the fridge. I also set a timer for 2:00 with a plan not to snack before the timer went off.
  3. One problem I foresaw was days when I had less control of my schedule. On those days, I would pack my snack to go.
  4. As for the unexpected, I kept some cold unsweetened tea in the fridge and a selection of healthy snacks in single servings.
  5. My plan for for slip-ups, was to acknowledging that it was ok every now and then to get off-track. I planned to then be mindful of making the next day fit my new goals.
  6. My reward for reaching my goal was to order a new green tea flavor. This was a healthy reward and one that kept me excited about the goal.
  7. My next little step was to start to turn the snack into “tea time” with a greater focus on the drink (green tea) instead of the snack. The snack became smaller and less important than the tea. Finally, I changed the snack to fulfill nutritional needs and consist of healthy ingredients. I set myself up to succeed by having easy healthy snacks on hand that didn’t require any prep for those days when life got busy. 
Starting a Healthy Habit Cheat Sheet

Try This: Take your big health goal and break it down into a few manageable steps. Focus only on the first step, setting aside the others until the first is met.

For a printable version of the Meal Planning Cheat Sheet, click on the button below

Big lofty goals are good for pointing you in the direction you want to go, but they won’t help you take the steps needed to get there. You need small actionable goals to move you forward.

Looking for a healthier version of your favorite meals?

Mexican Turkey Burger on a Green Plate

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