How to Stick to Your Healthy Habits: 7 Science-Backed Tips

make your healthy habits stick

A recent study found that only 3% of Americans are living a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating right, exercising regularly, not smoking, drinking in moderation or not at all, and maintaining a healthy weight through their lifespan. The CDC defines “healthy” as including seven different behaviors: 1) eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day; 2) get some exercise every day; 3) don’t smoke; 4) limit alcohol consumption; 5) maintain a healthy weight throughout one’s life; 6) control blood pressure or cholesterol levels so they remain low enough to avoid heart disease or stroke risk factors 7 )get regular health screenings for cancer and diabetes.

The problem with these statistics is that a lot of people who live healthy lifestyles do so for a limited time or in spurts. They may start going to the gym and make some other positive changes but they don’t stick with them long enough to see serious, lasting results. There are several reasons why making changes in your life isn’t easy, but there are also some scientifically proven ways to make it easier.

Healthy habits and why they’re important

Making healthy changes in your life can be difficult for a number of reasons. But one of the most important reasons is that healthy habits are important for your overall well-being. Eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking are all key to living a long and healthy life.

When you make changes in your lifestyle, it’s important to remember why you’re doing it. Keeping your goals in mind can help you stay motivated when things get tough. And as you continue to make progress, don’t forget to celebrate each accomplishment!

There are many reasons why it’s important to develop healthy habits. Some of the most important ones are that they can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, and improve your overall health.

Maintain a healthy weight

Keeping your weight within a healthy range is important no matter what age you are. Losing excess weight can help improve your health by decreasing blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. It can also have an impact on other conditions including osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, gallstones, acanthosis nigricans (a skin disorder), and some cancers.

Lower your risk of heart disease and stroke

Heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the United States. Some risk factors that can increase your chance of developing heart disease are poor blood flow, high cholesterol, lack of activity, and smoking. A lifestyle that includes healthy habits like not smoking or drinking in moderation can help lower your chances of developing heart disease.

Improve your overall health

There are a number of benefits to healthy habits. In addition to the ones listed above, having good habits can also help with conditions like depression and anxiety as well as easing stress. It’s important not only to develop healthy habits but also stick with them over the years for overall wellness.

Why habits are so difficult to change

So why are habits so difficult to change? Well, one reason is that they’re often deeply ingrained in our daily routine. We may have been doing the same thing for years without even thinking about it. And when we try to make a change, it’s not just our behaviours that we have to worry about – it’s also our thoughts and emotions.

There are a number of reasons why habits are so hard to change. Some of the most important ones are that they can be deeply ingrained in our daily routine, we may not even be aware of them, and changing them can be difficult both behaviourally and emotionally.

Habits are deeply ingrained in our daily routine

How many times have you walked into your house, taken off your jacket, and put it away without thinking? This is an example of a habit that has become so deeply ingrained in our daily routine that we don’t even notice when we do it.

We may not even be aware of them

Habits are so engrained in our daily routine that we may not even be aware of them. For example, you might drive to the same coffee shop every morning without thinking about it. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out why you’re doing certain things if you don’t stop and think about them.

Habits impact our thoughts and emotions

Our behaviours, thoughts and emotions can all be impacted by habits. For example, we might eat a chocolate bar even though we don’t really want it because we’re used to having one after lunch. This is just one example of how our thoughts and emotions can impact our behaviours. Eating the chocolate bar may make us feel good for a moment, but it isn’t something that makes us feel good in the long run.

Tips for changing your habits

There are a number of ways to make changing your habits easier. The first tip is to start small by picking one or two habits that you want to change. Having a specific plan for how you’re going to accomplish your goal can help with motivation and success. Finding a support system can be helpful in sticking with changes too. It could even be someone who’s just starting out on their journey of healthful living so they can offer some words of encouragement when you’re feeling discouraged!

1. Start small

Trying to make too many changes at once can be overwhelming and lead to failure. Start with one or two healthy habits and add more as you get more comfortable.

One of the best ways to make sure that you stick with new, healthy habits is by starting small. This way, it’s easier to adapt any changes into your daily routine and the chances are higher that you’ll be able to keep up with them. Some examples of how you might start small include walking for five minutes a day, drinking one less cup of coffee per day, and having one small piece of chocolate instead of your usual bar.

2. Have a specific plan

Another way to make sure you stick with new habits is by having a specific plan. This can help with motivation and ensuring that you’re successful at making the change. Some examples of a specific plan include walking for thirty minutes every day, drinking two glasses of water with every meal, and cutting out dairy from your diet.

3. Find a support system

In order to make sure that you stick with changes to your habits, it can be helpful to have some sort of support. This could mean finding someone who’s just starting out on their journey of healthful living so that you can offer some words of encouragement when they’re feeling discouraged. It could also mean finding a friend who’s going through a tough time and needing a listening ear, but it doesn’t have to be limited to just these kinds of support systems.

4. Stay motivated

Staying motivated is another important part of making sure that you stick with changes to your habits. This could include setting personal goals, reminding yourself why you’re working on this change, giving yourself rewards for how far you’ve come already, and many more. Examples of staying motivated might mean leaving sticky notes around the house with inspirational quotes written on them, splurging on a manicure when you’ve reached a personal goal, and rewarding yourself with a new pair of shoes for sticking to your diet.

5. Reward yourself

Celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how small, and enjoy your hard-earned success! When you’ve reached a personal goal or are feeling discouraged about sticking with your habit change, it can be helpful to reward yourself. This is something that doesn’t have to be limited to just sticking with new behaviours. It could involve buying yourself something nice, taking the day off work, or even spending some time alone at home relaxing on your own.

6. Be careful of your triggers

It’s important to recognize the moments that can be triggers for old habits. For example, if cravings for sugar and snacks are a trigger for you, then it might be helpful to keep some fruit on hand at all times. This way, instead of eating high-calorie treats when those cravings hit, you can have a piece of fruit instead.

7. Be patient

One final way to make sure that you stick with changes to your habits is being patient with yourself. That doesn’t mean constantly putting yourself down because you’re not perfect or can’t change all at once, but it does mean recognizing that making changes takes time and that, with the right mindset and support system, you’ll be able to stay successful.


We hope you find these tips helpful as you work on making healthy habits last a lifetime! It can be difficult to stick with new habits and make them last when you’re feeling discouraged or struggling with motivation. But it is possible to make lasting changes in your lifestyle, but it takes time and patience — so don’t give up if things get tough along the way. Try to remember that you’re not alone, that there are others who are also working towards making their habits healthy ones. With the right mindset and support system, it’s possible to make changes and keep up with them!

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