Old habits die hard; new ones are harder to build. A healthy habit takes us a long way ahead in our lives and often has far reaching implications. It’s not just about saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to something. Habits are all about you: your lifestyle, activities, hobbies and such. A healthy habit therefore bears a direct consequence on how well you live your life. From wanting to do well in exams to losing those extra pounds or being desperate to kick those late-night club shenanigans, it all starts with setting a goal first and then striving towards achieving it.

Making big plans but executing them poorly is only as good as being stuck up. Healthy habits aren’t something you just chance upon; they need careful planning, nurturing and above all, conviction. Follow these simple steps to transform yourself from a no-getter to a go-getter.

Start with Smaller Goals: Start with living your life ‘a day at a time’. If you have a plan, break it up into smaller, easily achievable plans and follow them on a day-to-day basis. For example, if you want to lose weight, make it a point to take a few minutes out from your daily schedule for exercise.

Improvisation is the Key: Exercising doesn’t mean hitting the gym daily. Instead, learn to improvise. Most schools and workplaces have a fitness centre these days. Taking short breaks to use them can be a good option. Also, try taking along a friend. That’ll keep you motivated and accountable. Other options include walking up to work if feasible, using stairs instead of elevator and so on. Exercising not only keeps your weight in check, it keeps you fit and active throughout the day.

Eat Well: A balanced diet is most essential for staying healthy. It’s what you eat that determines how well you do in all your efforts to stay healthy. A healthy diet should comprise of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain produces, fish & eggs, cereals, legumes, beans, and low-fat milk products.

Get up Early to get ahead in life. An early morning start with meditation & exercise followed by a nutritious breakfast definitely sets the stage for an energetic day. Not only it gives you health benefits, it also leaves you with the whole day for other priorities.

Saint vs. Sanity: We often find it hard to cut down on cravings. Nobody expects you to give it all up instantly. Instead of struggling to beat the urge, try controlling it for a few days. So the next time you grab a pizza for late-night snack, be done with a few slices still to spare. Switch over to fruits and nuts gradually and pretty soon, you’ll get over it even before you know it.

Track your Performance: The next step in building a healthy habit is keeping track of your performance. A regular check on your efforts will make sure there’s a slender chance of going wrong. Even if you don’t stick to your plans for a while or skip exercises, don’t just give up. Stay positive and start afresh. Energise yourself and double the effort.

Lastly, always remember, healthy habits don’t just add years to your life, they add life to your years.

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