Why Can Healthy Living Be So Difficult

While many of us make resolutions to live healthier lives at the start of the year, we might find that these changes are harder than we thought.


It’s a new year and you know what that means time for new resolutions! New Year's resolutions that usually revolve around exercising more and eating a more balanced diet. However, many of us find that, year after year, we stick to those plans for only a few weeks before reverting to old habits.

Does that pattern sound familiar to you?

Why do we often fail to achieve the goals we set for ourselves to live healthier lives? And how can you make goals that will work for you?
Here are a few tips to help you stick to that New Year's resolution

What causes us to fail to meet our healthy living goals?

  • Changing too much too quickly. Many people often resolve to change everything about their lives over a short span of time, giving up all sugar, all carbohydrates, all meat, or all gluten. Sometimes people resolve to hit the gym every day. But Studies show that 67% of adults fail to stick to lifestyle changes if they do too much at once! So try setting more moderate goals, which allow you to gradually adapt to that healthier lifestyle you're after.
  • Bad habits are hard to break. Research suggests that adjusting to a new behavior takes at least 66 days, which is much longer than most people attempt before they give up. So, if you want to change your bad habits, take those moderate goals you've settled on, and be sure to stick with them for at least two or three months, so they become part of your routine. 
  • Lack of accountability. Attempting big lifestyle changes without much support from friends or family can make it very difficult to stick to your goals. If you feel like you need extra accountability, try making a resolution with a friend who shares the same goals, so you can keep each other motivated!
  • Making yourself miserable. Sometimes in our attempts to set new goals for ourselves, we forget that the whole reason we make these resolutions is to improve our lives. There's no sense setting a goal for yourself that makes you miserable, so be sure whether you're trying to exercise more, or eat healthier, that you're leaving room for activities and foods that bring you joy.

Related:How to Break Up with Bad Habits

What can make things easier?

  • Remember the end goal. Have a clear understanding of what you want through your new healthy habits. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to eat more vegetables? What for? Maybe you want to simply feel more comfortable in your clothes? Or maybe you want to improve a certain health factor, like blood sugar or cholesterol. Consider the reasons and motivations behind your actions and keep your end goal in sight to help you stick with your new habits.
  • Get a buddy. Research shows that telling someone about your goals or attempting to reach them alongside a friend increases your success rate by 65%. Your accountability buddy can be a friend, a family member, a colleague, or even a health coach.
  • Be kind to yourself. Habits aren’t built in a day. Growth and change happen over time with consistency. If you are sticking to health goals and still not getting the results you want, be patient. Keep going! And if you ever have a cheat day (who doesn’t?) show yourself some compassion and get back on track tomorrow! 
  • Have fun. The key to sticking with habits is doing things you truly look forward to. For example, if you don’t like running, try out a fitness class that incorporates dance moves or cycling! Test out different routines until you find one that makes you feel great! As for dieting, there are so many options these days to make healthier meals taste fantastic and much easier to stick to. Do your research and don’t give up! Your body will thank you later.

Related:4 Ways to Practice Self-Love

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