Our days are made up of hundreds of habits, big and small, that affect our overall health and wellbeing. In fact, studies show that nearly 40% of our daily activities are repeated every day. Many of us can get caught up in setting lofty goals for the future, but it’s our recurring rituals and behaviors that add up quickly to set the foundation for success in all aspects of life.
Breaking bad habits and building upon healthy ones involves cultivating small daily decisions for personal growth. What’s more, it involves raising our standards for ourselves and backing up those standards with true positive change and action. Research shows that consistent healthy habits can promote longevity and reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.
Healthy habits aren’t just limited to weight management — in fact, the best healthy habits are meant to help us feel our best from the inside out and promote a long, happy life. In this eight-week program, we’ll tackle a new habit each week and talk about building a foundation for success when it comes to your personal health and wellness. Every week has a distinct theme that will focus on mastering that particular healthy habit, with tips on habit stacking (more on that later) and staying consistent with these habits over the long run. We’ll layer in a new habit each week to help you gradually establish a sustainable healthy living routine. We’ll incorporate meal and recipe suggestions, tips for prioritizing sleep and hydration and for staying motivated to keep your health a top priority — plus, weight management guidance for those interested.
Before we dive into the plan created by our team of health and nutrition experts, it’s important to understand how habits work. Knowing more about the inner working of habits can help facilitate positive change and aid in breaking certain bad habits that aren’t supporting your overall health and wellness.
What are habits?
“Habits are learned behaviors that repeat when paired with a certain contextual cue,” says licensed clinical psychologist Laura Athey-Lloyd, Psy.D., owner of Reflection Psychological Services in New York. “Some habits are so automatic that we are hardly conscious of them, such as buckling our seatbelt when we sit down in the car. Other habits are more complex and take up more time, such as meal prepping or journaling.”
Dr. Athey-Lloyd adds that a habit is formed and maintained by a cycle of antecedents (also known as cues or …….