January 8th, 2018

10 Ways to Build Healthy Habits This Year

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Each year is an opportunity to start new. Every day for the next 12 months, each of us will face the same choice: Stick with our comfortable, familiar, bad habits, or break and build new, healthy habits that may be uncomfortable at first, but eventually will push us to be the best versions of ourselves.

Habits are tricky things. We often build them when we aren’t paying attention and don’t notice until they’ve become so ingrained in our daily life that we can’t envision a life without smoking cigarettes, skipping lunch, or choosing video games instead of sleep.

But with a new year comes a sense of new beginnings, the chance to start over from scratch, and people all over the world have entered 2018 with goals to work harder, get stronger, and feel happier. If you are one of those people, here are 10 ways to get you wherever you want to go on your journey of self-improvement this year.

Some feet pointing to the words "PASSION LED US HERE" written on the ground.
Maybe excitement got you this far, but how do you maintain your habits when the excitement fades?

1. Start building healthy habits with the Fabulous app!

One of the easiest ways to start building new healthy habits is to have an expert on call to help you whenever you need it. Fabulous is not only a habit tracker but a personal coach and a goal setting app, right in the palm of your hand. Whatever your goals, we’ll help you master the art of meeting them.

2. Start small.

If you try to upheave all your bad habits and start completely from scratch, burnout is pretty much a guarantee. No matter how tempting it is to go big, starting small and gradually adding new habits to your daily routine is always better.

3. Set SMART goals.

Often our desired goals are too vague to be meaningful, which makes them easy to forget or ignore. When setting goals, make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive.

4. Learn about the Habit Loop.

A habit can be broken down into three parts: A cue, which triggers our brains to complete a routine, which is followed by a reward. For example, a smoking habit is triggered by a cue like stress or a certain time of day, the routine is smoking the cigarette, and the reward is the nicotine.

5. Make it easy.

Life doesn’t have to be complicated! The easiest way to guarantee successful habit building is to make the habit process automatic. You can do this by removing any obstacles that prevent you from building a new healthy habit. If you want to start exercising in the morning, lay out your workout clothes in plain sight before you go to bed.

6. Practice visualization.

It might not seem like it, but visualizing yourself completing your habits is almost as effective as actually completing them! Some of the world’s greatest athletes, pilots, and other professionals practice regular visualization as a vital part of their training.

7. Get a support system.

Nothing livens up a difficult journey like good company! Changing habits is no small or simple feat, and surrounding yourself with like-minded, supportive people will keep you motivated and positive, while also giving you someone to fall back on when things are hard.

8. Play the long game.

While it might sound contradictory to an organization that repeatedly emphasizes the benefits of living in the present moment, the future shouldn’t be dismissed entirely. Ignore the folk psychology idea that good habits take 21 days to build from start to finish; it is a myth. How long it takes to build healthy habits will vary from person to person and habit to habit. The best pace is the one that you’ll stick with.

9. Prepare for obstacles and setbacks.

Unpleasant though it may be, changing habits comes with its fair share of difficulties. Instead of going in blindly optimistic and getting thrown when something goes wrong, predict ahead of time anything that could go wrong, so you can plan and adapt accordingly. And remember, it’s okay to slip up. Forgive yourself; you’re only human.

10. Celebrate accomplishments.

Someone standing at the top of a mountain, arms raised in triumph.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Even the smallest successes deserve a celebration! Not only does it help serve as your Habit Loop’s reward, smiling and celebrating floods your body with endorphins, which will make you more inclined to repeat the routine!

Finally, remember that we’ve been gifted with the wonderful opportunity to live every day like it’s the best. Wherever you are in your life right now, no matter how unsatisfied or unhappy you are with your circumstances, you have the power to approach each moment with curiosity and joy. No matter how many tries it takes, no matter how many times you fall off the wagon, get up. The worst possible thing you can do when trying to form new healthy habits is to underestimate yourself.

Have a fabulous 2018. May you achieve all your goals.

If you’d like a little motivational boost to help you get started, our 30-Day New Year, New You Challenge is just what you need.