Many of us have developed new, healthier habits developed in quarantine, such as working out more or eating a more healthy, home-cooked diet. Additionally, as we return to work and other public spaces, it is important to maintain proper hygiene habits as the COVID-19 virus remains in circulation.
Entrepreneurs suffer from unhealthy diets and habits even before the pandemic, so it is essential to finding ways to change. So, as we return to normal life, or at least to the “new normal”, how do we make sure we stick to these healthy habits? Here are 7 important tips for sticking to healthy habits.
Set reminders for your day
Forming new habits is not easy. You can help yourself in the early stages by setting reminders to help you remember to do certain things, or prod you to actually do them. This could be something like a reminder on your phone, or something less high-tech like leaving a large glass of water on your desk to remind you to drink more water. Apps can be helpful here too, with a number of apps available to remind you to stick to specific habits. Another great approach is to remind yourself not only of the things you should do, but why you want to do them. Why not leave post-it notes around your home with words like “health” and “wellbeing” to remind you of your motivation?
Pre-empt your obstacles
One of the best ways to make sure you will stick to your new, healthy habits is to anticipate the obstacles or barriers that may get in the way in order to address them before they thwart your efforts. For example, if you are trying to eat a more healthy, balanced diet, your tendency for emotional eating will be an obstacle to this. You can pre-address this obstacle by planning alternatives next time you are tempted to eat junk food when feeling stressed or low, such as working out or calling a friend instead.
Make a schedule
If you really want to get serious about solidifying healthy habits, you may need to set a schedule. Planning out how you will implement these habits into your day and your week will help you to make sure they actually happen. Otherwise, you can have the best intentions to work out or start that new project, but they easily can slip off the end of your list. As you make your schedule, you may find that there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. In which case, there’s a relatively easy solution: set your alarm and get up a half an hour earlier! You likely won’t be sacrificing important sleep, rather making more time to be productive in the morning while cutting back on the time you spend scrolling on social media or similar, at night.
As you develop new habits, it is critical that you stay patient. It is easy to get frustrated with yourself, and be very critical of any slip-ups, or discouraged if you don’t see instant results. You need to allow time for habits to form and the results you are expecting to see to become noticeable. A journal can help with this: start a diary where you track activity and positive changes. This will allow you to reflect on your efforts to be more healthy, as well as helping you to track the small, incremental changes that may not be immediately apparent.
Find the fun in everything
Our final tip for sticking to new habits is to make these new habits fun. If you make your health habits enjoyable, these will no longer be chores but rather things that you want to do. After all, life should be about finding enjoyment in everything you do! There are many ways to do this: for example, if you want to be active, find fun ways to exercise, whether working out with friends, or joining a dance class you’ve always wanted to try.
Make a routine
Routines can be incredibly powerful, and they will help you to stick to your new habits. In fact, if you make your new habits part of your routine, they will soon become so set you will not need to think about them anymore. Having a set daily routine that incorporates your new habits is one of the best things you can do to stick to them. Additionally, stacking your new habits on top of your old habits will help.
Don’t be overly strict
In establishing new habits, it can be common to take an all-or-nothing approach. For example, if you want to eat a healthy, balanced diet, you may try to completely eliminate fat and sugar immediately. If you stop to think about it, this approach seems rather extreme and, furthermore, is putting unnecessary pressure on you that may be setting yourself up for failure. Rather, a more practical approach is to start small, with incremental and achievable changes, and from there work your way up to more revolutionary changes.
The need for healthy habits is essential for everyone and the startup community in particular. If you have something to add or any questions, drop us a message here and let us know.