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For people who want to be healthier but have organized their time in such a way that it makes it challenging, there are a few strategies that can help. While they may seem simple, many involve creating new habits, which can be unusual for those whose lives follow the same patterns. However, they are achievable once that hurdle is passed. It’s the habit that counts.
Keep Tabs on Activity
It may sound simple because it is, at least in theory. Keeping a journal, even in the simplest terms, is something most people have trouble with for a number of reasons. However, if you would like to change a pattern, the best way to go about it is to write about it and see where you can improve. Keeping a journal doesn’t mean writing pages and pages, although you can if you feel moved to do so. What it entails is plotting out your goal and noting where you met it or didn’t meet it. This can relate to any habit you would like to adopt—whether it’s eating more vegetables or getting that 150 minutes a week of exercise. The point is to create and track a pattern.
Break Up Goals
Your goals may be lofty. But in order to achieve those heights, one must have stepping stones. No one actually expects you to go from the ground floor to the 15th floor in a single leap, unless it’s you. People often have health goals that are not unrealistic, but they are not achievable in a single leap. When one fails to attain that, it can be demoralizing, and one gives up. Help yourself to keep pushing by breaking up the original goal into manageable parts. Then, devote a little time to thinking about how you will accomplish each part. This, in and of itself, is a hallmark of those who make a habit of progress. By looking at each small step and deciding how you will tackle it, you’re mentally preparing yourself for success.
Keep an Eye on Behaviors
Sometimes you eat because you’re hungry or craving something. That’s okay. But there are a host of other, less positive reasons one eats. You can even see that these are applicable to other, less-healthy behaviors. If you wish to understand why you do something that is utterly destructive to your goals, you may need another perspective. AI is one of those fields that offers dedicated tracking of hand motions, body posture, heart rate, and respiration. The AI is designed to learn from the data it gathers, making it an excellent predictor of the unconscious, emotional behaviors that have receded into the background for you.
Many people may already own a smartwatch, which offers a host of apps. The best apps for Apple watch are those that track repetitive motions—such as steps taken or stairs climbed. Another tracks habitual behaviors and learns from them and offers tailored advice to help curb the ones you might like to change. Just as with keeping a journal, these sorts of apps help you to see a pattern by putting it in the forefront. By making you aware of behaviors that have become habitual and then offering a counter-solution, these apps offer you the tools you need to change behaviors for better ones.
Don’t Take Two Days Off in a Row
It may be tempting to skip exercise or a new eating habit for the weekend, but this is precisely what you should not do when forming a new habit. Research has indicated that it takes a minimum of 66 days to make a new habit into practice, and breaking momentum during this period can be detrimental. One day away from it is fine because everyone needs a resting period from time to time. However, more than this can actually reset your perceptions and derail you from your goals. It makes it more difficult to return to the new way of doing things, because the old way is, quite literally, mindless.
Setting goals is healthy behavior, but it must be met with conviction in order to be truly beneficial. The ways to meet your goals are, in fact, quite simple, and there’s no rocket science involved. While simple and easy are two different things, especially when it comes to changing habits, you have the tools and the will to change them, and that’s the best place to start.