Healthy habits you won’t be able to break

Healthy habits you won’t be able to break

Say goodbye to bad habits and hello to healthy ones that better your life.

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Have you ever wondered why it’s so much easier to form bad habits than good ones?

You can blame it on the fact that bad habits—specifically those that negatively impact our health and well-being in the long term (e.g., binge eating)—often provide instant gratification in the short term. Meanwhile, the benefits often associated with healthy habits (e.g., eating a nutrient-rich diet) usually take longer to see. 

The good news is that, with the right mindset, you can easily train your brain to adopt healthy habits and stick to them. The secret lies in adding some form of instant gratification to those behaviors that typically take longer to feel rewarding. For example:

Add entertainment to your workout—While the benefits of exercise typically take longer to see, entertaining yourself by listening to music, for example, will help your brain associate the activity with an immediate reward. The next time you’re feeling unmotivated, try dancing to a playlist of your favorite songs.

Up your water game—Make hitting your daily water target a little easier by drinking from your favorite bottle. You can also add sliced fruit to water (or sparkling water) for instant flavor. Flavored sparkling water, hot water with lemon and even tea all count toward your daily water intake.

Start an enjoyable nighttime routine—Reap the benefits of a consistent sleep schedule by creating a bedtime routine you look forward to. Kick off your routine an hour or two before your actual bedtime with something enjoyable like meditation, a warm bath or a good book.    

When it comes to forming healthy habits, it turns out that there may be some truth to working smarter, not harder. The next time you find yourself struggling to stay consistent, simply try adding an immediate reward to it.