How to change your habits successfully

How to change your habits successfully

Table of Contents

  • 1 Know the keys to successfully change your habits and never go back to your old ways
    • 1.1 Power is wanting
    • 1.2 Micro-objectives
    • 1.3 Enjoy the change
    • 1.4 Repeat it over and over again

Know the keys to successfully change your habits and never go back to your old ways

They say that new year, new life and, surely, one of the resolutions you have set for yourself (not this, year but almost every year) is to change your habits: eat healthier, exercise … but after the first -or hopefully- second month, you go back to your old ways. So that this does not happen to you again and you make the definitive change, I am going to tell you the keys and secrets to successfully achieve the change of habits, to finally acquire a new life.

Power is wanting

The first excuse or justification that comes to mind is “I can’t”, and that thought clings to you and in the end you really believe that you can’t, but let me tell you that you can, you just don’t believe in yourself, you don’t trust you, and that’s what you need: confidence and empowerment. So stop telling yourself that you can’t, and start thinking (and telling yourself) that you can, even though you may not know how. You just have to look for that how, that knowledge that you need to put into practice what you already know but cannot maintain. In the course of changing habits you have all the necessary knowledge to be able to take the step (and keep it). You can also use books, tutorials, YouTube channels, podcast …

So you see, step number one, work your mind: send positive messages daily, get up every morning believing that you can and so little by little you will build confidence and empowerment in yourself. If you want, you can, but you have to want. You have to ensure that the desire for wanting to do it outweighs the effort you may believe that practicing it implies. And if you start doing it and see that one day you can, you will think that you can two and if you can two, you can three and so on, which will give you confidence and belief in yourself.


The key to that empowerment and confidence is in the goals you set for yourself. If overnight you intend to change your eating style, exercise daily, stop smoking, not drink more alcohol and reduce stress, most likely you will not succeed and you also make the current situation worse: eat worse, move less, smoke and drink more, and experience more stress, so that even your emotional state is affected. So work on the goal. There are several ways to work on your goal (or goals), I recommend that you make use of nutritional coaching in this case and practice the SMART method or formula. The SMART formula is the one that measures the value of all the objectives and all the elements that make up the plan to change habits, qualifying them as valid or invalid.

  • S for specific
  • M measurable
  • A of achievable
  • R for realistic
  • T for temporary

Let’s see it with an example. If I set the goal of “eating better”, I am setting a goal

not valid since, although it may be achievable and realistic, it is not specific, measurable or temporary. Therefore it should reformulate it, for this we must think and answer:

  • How could I improve my diet?
  • What aspects of my diet do I want to improve?
  • How long do I think I’ll be able to do it?
  • What do I need to carry it out?
  • How much is better ?

And after answering these questions we could achieve a much more SMART goal: I want to eat at least two servings of vegetables and three of fruits in the next week. Now we have a specific goal (vegetables and fruits), measurable (2 and 3 servings) and temporary (in the next week). You may think that next week is a very short space of time, but in reality the smaller the goal, the easier to achieve, and therefore more positive reinforcement, greater self-confidence and greater empowerment. Despite this, I advise you that before trying to “eat better” try to “stop eating badly” and set goals such as “Reduce the consumption of pastries to 1 piece a month” or similar. You can also continue working on these goals with nutritional coaching .

Enjoy the change

It is very important that for the new habit to be maintained there is positive reinforcement, that is, you have to obtain a benefit or satisfaction, a pleasure, you have to enjoy the change. I explain. If your goal is for example to eat those two servings of vegetables a day, and you spend your days eating boring salads and bland cooked vegetables, you will most likely give up, but not you, but anyone who made a change like that, because that it is not pleasant. In this case you should find a way to eat vegetables and that at the same time it was pleasant and you will enjoy doing it.

The same thing happens with exercise, if you come from being totally sedentary and you join a gym to get on a treadmill and run like a laboratory mouse, you will give up. You have to find something that you like, something that motivates you, that you want to do that causes you satisfaction, pleasure and what you enjoy. That if it is the belt forward, get on the belt and run but if not, look for other activities: directed classes, dance, yoga, bicycle, team sports such as paddle tennis … You should also increase motivation for it, for example by buying new sports clothes or meeting your best friend to do that exercise. And if you say that by no means, that there is nothing that you like in terms of activities or physical exercise, look for a connection with something that you do like. This is: connecting a hobby with a new goal. Let’s continue with the example of the exercise. Imagine, as I said that you do not like exercising at all but instead you are a fan of television series. We could connect this hobby with this new objective if, when going up to the treadmill, you put your tablet on it and you see your series while you are walking / running. After a few weeks you will want to run without needing your tablet, by now you will have created the habit.

Repeat it over and over again

To get into the habit you have to repeat the action over and over again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Only by repeating the habit is achieved, which is why the previous point is so important: enjoy the change, because if you do not enjoy, you will not want to repeat.

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