How to Make Healthy Habits Stick in 8 Simple Steps

How to Make Healthy Habits Stick in 8 Simple Steps

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“You Learn More From Failure Than From Success. Don’t Let It Stop You. Failure Builds Character.” – Unknown

Make Healthy Habits Stick in 8 Simple Steps

You want to lead a healthier lifestyle, but you just can’t seem to stick to a healthy diet or make exercise a habit. Maybe it is because you haven’t learned how to make healthy habits stick. There are 8 simple steps you can take. Find out what they are and take control of your health today.

How To Make Healthy Habits Stick In 8 Simple Steps

How To Make Healthy Habits Stick In 8 Simple Steps. You want to lead a healthier lifestyle, but you just can’t seem to stick to a healthy diet or make exercise a habit. Maybe it is because you haven’t learned how to make healthy habits stick. There are 8 simple steps you can take. Find out what they are and take control of your health today. #habitformation #healthyhabits #healthylifestyle #healthandwellness #forminghealthyhabitsIf your goal is to replace your unhealthy habits with habits that will improve your health, you shouldn’t wait until January to try again.  Just because you failed before, doesn’t mean you should give up altogether. With a few practical tips, you can set yourself up for successfully making your new healthy habits stick and start leading a healthy lifestyle.

1. Be Specific

Take the time to define exactly what you want to accomplish and be specific.  In other words, you need to determine the frequency. Once you have made this determination, then you can start to modify your routine.  Maybe you want to exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week.  Or maybe your goal is to perform a 20-minute strength training routine twice a week. Having a clear, objective picture is the first step when starting a new habit. So, take a few minutes and define your goal.

2. Set Reasonable Goals

Whatever your goal, you will set yourself up for defeat by making them unreasonable.  For example, if you want to eat healthier, you shouldn’t banish all your favorite foods, it will only backfire.  If you deprive yourself of foods that are pleasing to you, you are bound to go off the deep end and gorge yourself on all your favorites.  Ideally, you may want to start by replacing one thing at a time but still allow yourself an occasional indulgence.  Some people allow themselves a cheat day.

If quitting smoking is your goal, you may want to try cutting back by one cigarette every day until you eventually are nicotine-free.  You can try the opposite approach if you are trying to exercise more.  Add a 10-minute walk on your lunch break or exercise one additional day each week until you reach your goal.

Setting reasonable goals can help keep you on track because there is less of a need for willpower.  Before you know it, your new habits will be easy and natural requiring little brainpower.

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3. Start Small

Slowly incorporating a new habit will increase the likelihood of becoming permanent.  Maybe you don’t feel like you can find time in your day to add anything to your routine.  It will be much easier to set aside five minutes rather than 20 or 30. 

One thing that I wanted to start doing was meditating but I just didn’t feel that I had time to do this for 20 minutes every day.  Once I realized that I could reap the benefits of meditating for just five minutes a day, I was able to easily make it a part of my daily routine.  Now I practice meditation every day.

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You will be more motivated to keep going when you succeed in practicing your new desired habit after each action.  The more motivated you are, the more likely your actions will become habits. The important point is to just start.

4. Track your Progress

calendar, month, yearTracking your progress can also help to keep you motivated on your journey to develop healthy habits.  When you can measure your accomplishments, your brain will respond in a positive way that will help keep you moving in the right direction. 

Put a chart on your refrigerator or log your progress in a journal.  Either way, having a visual reminder of your progress will make you feel good.

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5. Reward Yourself

fashion, shoes, clothesEvery time you practice your new healthy habit is something to be celebrated. Pat yourself on the back and reward yourself for each milestone you reach.  Go ahead and treat yourself to that pair of shoes you have been eyeing up or treat yourself to a manicure.

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6. Set Yourself Up for Success


Having a visual prompt can be key when cementing those new healthy habits. One of the habits that I really had a hard time making permanent was flossing my teeth.  I would floss my teeth for a day or two in a row and then wouldn’t think about it for a long time thereafter. Getting older made me start thinking about many areas of my health including my gums. I was also getting tired of my dentist asking me if I flossed every day and it left me feeling guilty.

I finally decided that I was going to floss EVERY day. I took the floss out of my bathroom and put it on the end table next to my chair in the living room. When I sit down to watch television, I floss my teeth. Because that little container of floss was in plain view, it was easy to remember and easily accessible. I rarely miss a day, it is just part of my routine now. And that, my friends, is how I was able to get this healthy habit to stick.

If it is walking you choose to make one of your new healthy habits, keep your sneakers in plain sight.  If you are just trying to drink more water, keep a full water bottle with you and set it next to your computer or on your kitchen counter.  When it is easily accessible and in your eyesight, you are more likely to drink it.

7. Replace Bad Habits

stop sign, road sign, roadsignAs with starting healthy habits, you can apply the same process to stop bad habits.  If you are trying to stop eating junk food, don’t keep them in the house.  Sometimes this can be difficult, especially if your family is like mine.  But if you keep them in the pantry or cupboard behind the boxes of pasta and cereal, you may forget those sugary snacks are in there.

8. Get Support

girl, confident, portrait

Once you decide what your new healthy habit will be, get support.  There are many ways to accomplish this. Peer pressure is a wonderful motivator.  When you communicate the habit you want to form to a friend or co-worker, there is less chance of faltering. 

Do you really want to listen to your friend lecture you about the excuse you made for not going to the gym today?  Think of it this way, while listening to the lecture may make you feel down, going to the gym will boost your mood.  Not only is there scientific evidence that exercise releases feel-good endorphins, but you won’t have someone nagging you. It’s a win-win!

You can also look for support groups or ask others to join your quest.  Whichever route you choose, having some support will increase your chances of success.

Having a plan for moments of weakness can be a helpful tool.  Be prepared by having healthier alternatives.  For example, if you are trying to kick the cigarette habit but there is another smoker in your house, keep a pack of gum or mints handy.  When the craving hits, pop some in your mouth.  You could even try leaving the house for a few minutes by going for a walk.  Do whatever it takes until you are past your craving.  Don’t forget to track your progress and reward yourself.

Be specific and define your goals.  Then make sure your goals are reasonable so that they are easily attainable.  Starting small will make it easier to incorporate your new healthy habits into your lifestyle. Make sure you track your progress and reward yourself along the way. 

Setting yourself up for success by giving yourself visual cues and making them easily accessible will assist you when trying to remember what you want to accomplish. 

Kick those bad habits to the curb once and for all using the methods I have provided for you. If you happen to get off track, don’t beat yourself up.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and give it another try.  Each time you perform your new habit is a step in the right direction and you should be proud.

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Do you have a tough time making healthy habits stick?

Tell me about it in the comments below.

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20 thoughts on “How to Make Healthy Habits Stick in 8 Simple Steps”

  1. I absolutely LOVE your tips and agree with you about setting SMART goals and seeking support. I also value rewarding yourself since positive reinforcement works wonders when we’re trying to create healthy habits! I wrote about 10 simple healthy daily habits that will change your life so if someone follows both our suggestions they will feel absolutely fantastic!

  2. What worked for me is to start small. In this way it’s easy to encourage repetition/consistency and yes give yourself a well-deserved reward for your small wins.

  3. These are all great and important tips, especially replacing the bad habits. When we replace our bad habits with healthier ones, we have something to redirect ourselves to! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Thank you very much for sharing these. I’m looking to improve in 2022 and use your advice to have a better year ahead. Happy New Year!

  5. Great post!
    As you mention it’s so important to be specific and list small things that are achievable rather than the usual “I will turn everything around in three days / Shoot for the stars” usual advice.
    You have more chance of succeeding with this.

  6. Such brilliant advice! I think a lot of us just set crazy expectations and its important to pace our selves and take it slow from time to time to really think about what we need and what’s important to us. Thanks for sharing x

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