FTC Disclosure: Delicious Obsessions may receive comissions from purchases made through links in this article. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.Read our full terms and conditions here.

{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my good friend, Lauren, author of Lauren Fowler. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and yoga teacher who promotes a non-diet approach to nutrition and health. She wants everyone to connect to their bodies intuitive wisdom rather than following diets. She encourages the tools of intuitive eating and health at every size. Stop by LaurenFlower.co to read more about nutrition, intuitive eating, heart-based health, and yoga.}

When it comes to changing our health, the world is filled with success stories and life-changing transformations. Take a look at the about page on other blogs, and you’ll see them there – people sharing stories of healing diseases or losing weight by changing their diets. You can see the dramatic change through stories or pictures of what life was before and after the change.

Yet, we rarely hear about the in-between – of how people started out, the months or years between the before and after pictures, and how people created a whole new life.

Yes, we can talk about how to change your nutrition, what to eat or what to ditch, how to move your body, and why sleep is so important for days, but the mindset approaching any change is just as essential.

Your day-to-day life is often made of habits and routine. Your health is made up of these daily actions – habits – that are so natural and normal to you. It’s easy for us to make goals to “eat healthier,” “lose weight,” or “exercise more,” but if we don’t look at how to fit it into our daily routines, it will remain a goal to reach someday.

To build habits, think about these 5 tips:

1. Break the “goal” into small action steps.

Start by thinking about what one or two things would make the biggest difference in your health right now. If you’re missing veggies in your diet, then adding them in may impact your energy and vitality. If you’re regularly eating out and not cooking at home, then using your own kitchen may help you eat more whole foods.

Now, break those goals into action steps. Don’t be afraid of taking baby steps. It’s okay to go from eating 0 veggies a day to just 1 serving a day. Write out a list of everything you would need to do to reach those goal. Start with the very first step, and make that your habit to focus on for the next month.

2. Aim for consistency.

Consistency is what will change your daily habits over time. While some people certainly do well making huge changes overnight, it’s more sustainable for others to make small changes over time.

As you build this new habit into your life, think about consistency. Progress over perfection. If this is a new habit for you, you’re a beginner at it. You don’t have to worry about doing it perfectly – like cooking extravagant meals or going out for 10 mile runs. If you want to start moving your body more, be consistent with getting outside for a 10 minute walk at first. Over time, you can increase the time you do, but consistency matters more.

3. Don’t do it all at once.

It’s human nature to want to do it all at once. I’m guilty of this in my habit-building adventures as well – I want to go for a daily walk, do yoga, and jump on my mini-trampoline (rebounder). When I can’t manage to do them all, I feel frustrated and upset. Instead, if I were to simply focus on one at a time, I’d get in daily movement and feel great about it. There’s been times I’ve tried to build several habits at once and ended up several weeks later with not one solid one.

As you’re building habits, think about one habit at a time. If you focus on one each month, you could have 12 new habits at the end of the year. That’s a success, especially compared to most Americans who end their big, life-changing New Year’s resolutions a few weeks in.

4. Find your “keystone” habit.

When I heard the idea of keystone habit, it made so much sense! The keystone habit is the habit that makes all your habits integrate together. It’s the “soil from which other habits grow.” 

For me, that always starts with my morning routine. I usually start with a morning walk. That naturally turns into making a cup of warm lemon water, eating breakfast, and it certainly helps my productivity for the day because it gets my energy moving and clears my mind. The one habit of moving my body in the morning creates mini victories before I even start my work for the day.

5. Practice self-compassion.

Here’s my secret when it comes to habits: If I miss a day, I don’t beat myself up about it. This doesn’t make me lazy at all. By practicing self-compassion, I’m much more motivated to start the habit again that next day. 

Do everything you can to make the habit a daily action – or at least choosing a few days a week (like going to a fitness class Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for example). Make it a habit that can fit into your daily life. Yet, remember that we can’t control every detail of our lives. If something comes up and you can’t get in your daily habit, it’s okay.

BONUS: Start today. Yes, TODAY!

Here’s the real challenge. Pause right now, and choose one habit.

Start it today – as soon as you finish reading this, if you can. Don’t let yourself push your new habits and your ability to connect to your healthiest self until tomorrow.

Start today. I promise you, it will be worth it. 

Delicious Obsessions is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.Read our full terms and conditions here.