How to Change Your Lifestyle to Be Healthy

Living a healthy lifestyle means adopting habits that promote physical and mental well-being. But it can feel overwhelming to make all the changes you need at once.

Try changing one behavior at a time to create sustainable change. Then, add another healthy behavior until you have a complete list of healthier habits that work for you.

1. Change Your Diet

In order to be healthy, you need to eat a well-balanced diet. Try to limit processed foods and choose whole foods that are high in protein, fiber, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. Also, be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

It is important to remember that it takes time for new habits to become automatic. This is why it is so easy to fall back into old ways. Don’t give up if you relapse on occasion, it is completely normal. Just pick up where you left off and try to make one more change each day until it becomes a habit.

Changing your diet can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are not used to eating healthily. You can start by making small changes, such as replacing your regular breakfast with a smoothie made from whole fruits and vegetables or adding an extra vegetable to each meal. You can also start by using smaller plates and reducing your portions. Another good idea is to add some healthy snacks into your day, such as a handful of nuts or an apple.

2. Change Your Sleep Habits

Getting good sleep, along with eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and exercising regularly, is one of the most important things you can do to increase your health and improve your life expectancy. But changing these habits can be difficult. It’s helpful to start with small changes and work your way up.

Robbins and other experts suggest starting with a set schedule for both your wake-up time and bedtime, and committing to it every day, even on weekends. It may take a few days to get your body into the new routine, but sticking with it will help to reinforce your new sleeping schedule.

You can also try to avoid napping during the day and limit your caffeine intake. If you do have to nap, make it short and early in the day, as this will allow your circadian rhythm to adjust to a later bedtime without impacting your quality of sleep at night. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try reading or listening to soothing music before going to bed instead of watching TV or using electronics.

3. Change Your Exercise Habits

It’s no secret that diet and exercise are key to healthy living. But actually forming these habits is often a challenge. Some of the most effective strategies are to find a support system and to set reasonable goals for yourself.

Start by focusing on one small change at a time, rather than trying to overhaul your whole routine at once. Be patient; it takes time to build new habits, and there will be some slip-ups along the way. But the point is not to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, but to develop habits that will last in your daily life.

Create a plan with goals and tasks to help you on your journey, and post it where you can see it. Be specific, such as “walk for 10 minutes each day.” Then come up with ways to help you stick with your plan. For example, if you can’t walk outside during your lunch break, make a plan for walking inside at the mall or school track. Reward yourself for meeting your goals. But be careful to choose a nonfood reward, such as a movie ticket or new workout equipment.

4. Change Your Stress Levels

Keeping your stress levels low is essential to staying healthy. Common methods of dealing with stress include smoking, excessive drinking or using drugs, eating unhealthy foods, zoning out for hours in front of the TV or other electronic devices, and taking it out on others (frustration, rage, or even physical violence). If your stress management habits aren’t helping you feel calmer, it’s time to find new ones.

When making lifestyle changes, it’s best to focus on changing one behavior at a time. If you try to change too many things all at once, it’s more likely that you will give up and go back to your old habits.

Habits take a long time to develop, so it may take an entire season or even up to a year before you can see the full benefits of healthy behaviors. Try to focus on improving a few health-related habits each day, and soon you’ll start to notice the overall impact on your wellbeing. It’s also helpful to document your progress to keep you motivated. You can use a journal or try a new activity like taking the stairs instead of elevators to get in shape.

5. Change Your Environment

Your daily environment influences whether or not your habits align with your health goals. This includes your home, work and commute spaces, as well as the people in your life and your relationships with them.

Because your brain scans the world around you for cues on how to act, visual cues are powerful tools for changing behavior. Keeping healthy foods on the counter or in the fridge, placing dental floss in the bathroom, and putting water bottles on your desk are all simple ways to change your environment to be healthier.

A healthy lifestyle looks different for everyone, but the basic principles are the same: prioritize the little things each day that energize and inspire you, and build habits that will last. These habits, when combined, form a strong foundation for your overall health and happiness.

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