It takes time and effort to change habits and develop a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re looking to create a lifestyle change, like eating healthier or exercising more, having a support group makes it more likely that you’ll be successful.
The best way to make changes is to start with small, concrete actions that are daily and easy to do.
Most of us know that making healthy choices in life can lead to a happier, healthier life. You may have had the experience of vowing to eat more nutritious foods, or to start exercising regularly, or to meditate daily.
But turning an idea into action is hard. It’s so much easier to spend a few minutes longer scrolling on our phones than to go for a jog. So how do you translate a desire for healthier habits into a healthy lifestyle? And is it better to change our habits on our own or with a support group? Check these kerassentials for toenail fungus reviews.
Read on for tips on how to create a healthy lifestyle, one habit at a time, by yourself and with others.
How do I start building healthy habits?
Changing your habits doesn’t happen overnight. Thankfully, we can learn from a common approach used in healthcare, called the Stages of Change model. Turns out, most of us go through five stages when working on lifestyle modifications.
At this stage, you don’t recognize that there’s a problem, and you have no intention to change. For example, a person who drinks more than two alcoholic beverages daily might say, “I’m just unwinding after a day of work — there’s nothing wrong with a few drinks at the end of the day!”
During this stage, you start thinking about making a change and assessing the pros and cons. For example, a person who wants to exercise more might think, “I’d love to eat healthier foods, but I don’t know where I’d find the time to cook regularly.”
This stage might also involve focusing on the barriers to change or resistance to giving up something that you love. (For example, “I know smoking is bad for me, but I just love how relaxed I feel when I light up a cigarette.”)
This is where you start mentally and physically preparing for larger changes. If your goal is to exercise more, you might purchase workout gear or learn all about a new sport. If you’re focusing on eating healthier foods, you might clear out time on Sundays to do meal-prep for the week.
It’s helpful to think about the barriers to success you might face and to come up with concrete ways to help address those barriers. If you know that chocolate fudge ice cream is your ultimate downfall, you might resolve to stop buying it.
This is the big one, the stage that involves real change in an area of your life. It helps to start small with simple, concrete habits. Once you see that you can do that, it’s easier to add on new healthy actions. This is the stage when you get to proudly pat yourself on the back for taking up running, quitting smoking, or turning into a meditation yogi.
Maintenance and relapse prevention
At this point, you have developed a healthy lifestyle habit and the key is to focus on maintaining that way of life. Relapse is common, but it doesn’t have to be a major setback. It’s important to remind yourself that this is a natural part of the process and you can still continue your new healthy habit. Read more about alpine ice hack.
Is it better to build healthy habits on your own or with a support group?
Turns out that healthy habits are contagious! When one person in a couple makes a healthy lifestyle change (like quitting smoking or exercising), their partner becomes much more likely to make a healthy lifestyle change as well. Likewise, having friends or people in your social network make healthier choices will often influence you to make healthier choices as well.
For long-term change to occur, it’s best if you are internally motivated to start. However, once you have that inner drive to make a change, having a support group can be incredibly helpful for moving you in a healthy way through the five stages listed above. You can hear about others’ obstacles, successes, and failures, which will better prepare you when you face those same obstacles.
What are the benefits of a support network for a healthy lifestyle?
Having a support network can support your health journey in multiple ways, big and small.
Here are some of the ways in which a support network can benefit you:
Emotional support: Encouragement from loved ones can help keep you motivated when things get hard.
Practical advice: Tips from people on the same journey as you can teach you ways to transition to a healthier lifestyle in a practical way.
Creating accountability: Knowing that you will share your progress once a week with others can often create a stronger motivation to meet your goals.
Modeling healthy choices: Watching someone else quit smoking or make healthier food choices can remind you that it’s possible, and it can show you ways to achieve those goals.