6 Tips for Building Healthy Habits in 2021

With the best of intentions, people make New Year’s Resolutions to build healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a nutritious diet. A few weeks into the new year, it’s common to become discouraged and give up. Here’s how you can make 2021 the year you establish healthy habits that you maintain long after the New Year’s Resolution honeymoon.

Set Specific Goals

One reason people fail to keep their resolutions is their goals are too vague. For example, people often resolve to eat better without defining what changes they’re going to make to their diets. A specific goal would be increasing your fruit intake by adding a serving of fruit to breakfast every morning.


Make Your Resolutions Realistic

If your lifestyle has always been sedentary, resolving to start running 30 minutes a day isn’t a realistic goal. Smaller goals, like walking 10 minutes daily, are more manageable.


Limit Your Number of Resolutions

Having too many resolutions can quickly become overwhelming. Since change is difficult for most people, trying to make numerous changes at once isn’t the best strategy. Your chances of success are better when you choose one to three specific, realistic goals. 


Form a Daily Routine

While having a daily routine is important for overall mental health, building structure into your day also helps keep your new habits on track. You’re more likely to complete activities when you have regularly scheduled time for them. Also, consider scheduling your healthy habits in relationship to things you already do every day. For instance, you might plan to take your daily walk immediately after lunch.


Create Accountability

Don’t keep the habits you’re trying to build a secret. Perhaps you can create an arrangement with a loved one to ask you about your progress each week. You may even want to ask a friend or relative to be a partner who is building the same healthy habits as you are. You can help keep each other accountable and encourage each other.


Reward Success

Celebrate and reward yourself for reaching predetermined milestones. Doing so creates incentive and it’s fun. Just make sure your reward doesn’t undermine your new healthy habits. If you’ve exercised faithfully for 60 days in a row, you might want to celebrate with a new fashion accessory instead of a special meal.