How to Create Healthy Habits and Stick to Them

Intentional Living

How to Create Healthy Habits & Stick To Them | It was always the same thing — a colourful photo snagged my eye on Instagram of a delicious looking “clean eating” meal, cute workout gear with a smiling model, or an inspirational quote. I could feel it — the impulse to join them. To reactivate my gym membership, go on the Keto diet, and find inner peace (all in the last fifteen minutes of my lunch break).

Of course, this is impossible, unrealistic, and if I’m being honest, motivated only by shallow insecurities. I haven’t accomplished any of those things. The closest I came was signing up for workout program after workout program and paying the standard three-month signup fee, only to complete the first week and never try again. Creating healthy habits has never been easy.

This was been my reality for about three and a half years. I knew well that my eating and exercise habits weren’t exactly conducive to a clear mind and healthy body, but never found motivation to do anything that lasted more than a week or two.

In the last three months, this changed drastically. I’m still no Jillian Michaels, but my lifestyle and health has done a complete 180. I’ve learned how to create healthy habits, ones that last and actually make a difference.

create healthy habits

How to Create Healthy Habits and Stick to Them

Start slow.

This was the biggest place I went wrong before. I’d leveraged my initial dedication to the process to push myself as hard as I possibly could, something that was not sustainable and honestly miserable. Challenge yourself, yes, but keep it fun! Don’t go until you’re miserable — go until you still want to come back the next day. Especially in the beginning. Remember, you’re just starting to create habits in your life. Go easy on yourself!

Healthy motivation.

Surrounding yourself with airbrushed images of models or fitness bloggers will not drive you. Maybe for the first week or so, but it’s not a lasting motivator. Additionally, this is so unhealthy! If your main goal for working out is to attain an unrealistic body shape, stop. You’re risking doing greater damage to your self image and mental health. This isn’t to say any desire to change your body through becoming healthier is wrong — but if your sole motivation is appearance and you could care less about your health, I highly encourage you to take a step back.

Pay attention to your results.

It took me a long time to notice any significant results in my appearance (which is fine), but I noticed the difference in how I felt almost instantly. When I go for a run, eat unprocessed foods, and drink lots of water, I have more energy, am a happier person, and am more productive in every area of my life. Seeing how making small changes in your life can make such a big difference will help you stick to what you’re doing.

Give yourself grace.

This is such an essential, underrated part of healthy living. You’ll have days where you don’t want to keep going, or you really just aren’t in the mood to work out, or that tub of cookie dough ice cream is really calling your name. There is a careful balance that must be struck here. Don’t give in every time you feel tempted to cave, but listen to your body and your spirit. There are going to be days where all you can muster up is a half hearted attempt –that’s okay. If you need to take a day off, that’s okay. If you’re really craving some ice cream, I highly suggest trying some slightly healthier options available at most grocery stores (Halo Top anyone?!) , but if not, eat your ice cream.

To sum up: don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Listen to your mind and your body about what you’re ready for, be proud of yourself for every step you take, and remember that no matter what kind of lifestyle you live, your value as a person does not change.

Originally published by me on

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