Everyone has a habit they wish they could master.
Eating better, going to bed or waking up at a certain time, cleaning the kitchen every night, drinking enough water and getting in several days of exercise a week are all common habits people would like to improve.
Have trouble starting new habits and sticking with them? Check out these tips for successfully creating healthy habits.
1. Don’t try to change big habits all at once. If you decide to go from eating out five days a week to cooking every single night, you may be setting yourself up for failure. The most successful way to change a habit is to do it in small, manageable steps. Want to start moving more? Plan to go for a walk one day a week after work. Want to drink less soda? Replace one of your daily sodas with no-calorie flavored water. Once these habits feel manageable, build on that success. Small changes instead of massive overhauls make new habits seem more attainable and more likely to stick.
2. If possible, plan to do your new habit at a time when you have the most energy. Some people are more motivated at the start of the day before work and their regular activities leave them tired as the day goes on. Others have more energy in the late afternoon or evening. You’re likely to have more motivation and stick to your new routine if you plan to do it at a time during the day when you feel your best. So, if you’re not a morning person, don’t force yourself to exercise right after you wake up if you’ll be happier taking a walk in the evening. If you usually feel too tired to cook dinner after work, fill the crockpot with a healthy recipe in the morning so dinner is ready when you get home.
3. Make your habits fun. If you don't enjoy doing something, you probably won’t stick with it. Find ways to make lifestyle changes as enjoyable as possible. If your goal is to exercise more, try working out with a friend or explore several different activities until you find one you really enjoy. If you want to cook at home more or make healthier meals, research “healthy” recipes that use your favorite foods, and find healthier alternatives to meals you crave. Even something as simple as checking off a calendar for every day you do your new habit can leave you feeling accomplished and motivated. Check out habit tracker apps for more helpful options.
4. Give yourself several weeks to make the habit stick. It can take around two months before an action becomes an easier, automatic habit. So, don’t get frustrated if you get off track for a week or two. Pick up the habit again and keep at it. Over time, you’ll find that it becomes a natural part of your daily or weekly routine.
5. Use available resources to help you on your healthy habit journey. Creating new habits can be hard, but it’s easier if you have someone helping you along the way. If your habit goals involve improving a health condition or are connected to your overall health, discuss them with your doctor for advice and tips on making your habits a success. The Healthy Life Care Team has health specialists including navigators and dietitians, and all Mohawk employees and their family members also have access to resources through Employee Assistance (EA). EA is available at no cost, is completely confidential and can help you with services such as counseling, smoking cessation, alcohol or drug issues, stress management, general wellness and more.
For more information or to see what resources and services are available, visit mycigna.com (employer ID: Mohawk) or call 855-566-4295. You can also get more information at mymohawkbenefits.com.
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