Creating Healthy Habits

How long does it take to incorporate a new change into your daily routine? The real sign of successful dietary change is when it becomes habitual. At that point, you no longer have to remember to make half your plate vegetables or drink water with every meal because that is just how you roll.

There are many studies and books full of advice on how to create and maintain healthy habits. One thing they all show is that behaviors become habits through repetition. Research indicates that it takes about one month of repeated, consistent action to ingrain a new activity into the brain. You are  building new neural pathways in the brain, and once those connections are reinforced enough times, they become habits and it no longer takes concerted focus to practice the behavior.

Another handy guideline is that we can usually handle three specific changes at once. Specific is a key term here: general goals like “weight loss” or “eat better” can’t be tracked and are likely to not lead to success. Instead pick goals like “no processed carbohydrates at lunch” or “only eat half my meal when eating out”.

You can use this form to help you track your goals and create new habits:

Rule of Three Habit Tracking

Here’s to healthy change!

 

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