The best advice I ever received in my life was simple:
“The healthiest, happiest, richest, and wisest people in the world have the same 24 hours in a day that you do.”
Cultivate the right habits, and you can become virtually any kind of person you want to be.
But how do you actually create habits, break the bad ones, and stay consistent with the new ones?
Check these out to get your creative fires going on how to stick with the health habits you already know to do… but have a hard time doing.
How to Create Healthy Habits
- 1. 5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick. Setting micro goals and macro goals, including visualization and envisioning the big dream, are all scientific principles mentioned in this article on science-backed habits.
- 2. 5 Steps For Creating Healthy Habits. I loved the third step in his process, which is identifying harmful patterns, so that you can stop what’s not working and rewire those partners. A big process I take people through here is having them track daily habits, instead of tracking daily calories.
- 3. The 3 R’s Of Habit Change: How to Start New Habits That Actually Stick. This is a take on Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit, and teaches you how to figure out the cue, routine, and reward cycle behind what triggers your habits, and how to re-write them.
- 4. How Not To Suck at Building Healthy Habits. One of the biggest obstacles to building healthy habits is starting and overcoming the inner battle, narrative, and story we tell ourselves about why we’re unable to do something. Steve covers some great points here regarding overcoming the narrative.
- 5. Want To Make a Habit? A big mistake people make when creating habits is they just “Try to do it every day” without any sort of link, system, or trigger. This article from The Power of Habit goes more in-depth into this process.
How to Break Bad Habits
- 6. The Top 10 Ways to Break a Bad Habit. One of the things that people rarely talk about is punishing yourself in order to make yourself hyper-aware of your own habits.
- 7. Can’t Kick a Bad Habit? You’re Probably Doing It Wrong. There’s a lesser-known concept that a lot of healthy and fit people embody: using the “I don’t” vs “I can’t” principle. It’s easier to resist the temptation of sweets if you begin to self identify as “I don’t eat/do…” rather than saying “I can’t…”
- 8. Train Your Brain To Break Bad Habits. It’s easy to think of habits as simple behavioral triggers, but there are often much deeper physiological levels of addiction – engaging in a bad habit releases dopamine, and it feels good.
- 9. The 30 Day Habit Challenge. The best way to ensure you don’t get derailed is to write down what habit roadblocks exist before you ever start. This article goes a bit into SJ’s 30 day habit process.
- 10. How To Break Bad Habits When More Information Isn’t The Answer. It’s natural and easy to want to seek out more information to help us change our habits, but chances are, we know what to do. That’s logical. The emotional part of the game (the process) requires a system. Ramit introduces a few steps here for creating a system behind habit change.
Most Important Health Habits
- 11. The Three Most Important Daily Habits: The Golden Trifecta. When people have no clue where to begin, they often get overwhelmed. To counteract that, I created something called the “Golden Trifecta” which has just 3 things to focus on daily.
- 12. 5 Healthy Habits That Will Actually Change Your Life. I thought this list was going to be a typical boring list, but #2 is quite profound. Stop trying to change everything, and instead, try eating just one healthy meal per day.
- 13. The Single Most Important Health Habit. Something that is very underrated in its importance, as highlighted by an army M.D. It’s possibly the only habit that instantly (in less than 12 hours) negatively affects every aspect of your life.
- 14. 23 People That Lived to 100 Spilled Their Secrets of Longevity. People that live to 100 almost always have a few things in common, and guess what? It’s not often their diet. You’ll find smokers, bacon eaters, chocolate connoisseurs and more in this list.
- 15. 7 Health Habits Men Forget – Video. This is unusual and really important advice (women too), especially the fact that your body is always communicating with you. What’s it saying?
- 16. Your Bad Eating Habits Are Contagious. A really fascinating take on how the people we’re around affect everything – including our weight.
- 17. The Most Common Health Foods Around The World. It’s neat to see the top health foods in different countries, particularly the top 3, although I think including margarine in that list is beyond moronic.
- 18. How To Change a Habit. A really nice flowchart that illustrates exactly how cues, routines, and rewards factor into keeping old habits in place, and how to use them to create new habits.
- 19. The Timeline of USDA Food Guides. Want to see how diet and health advice has changed over the ages? This infographic is really fascinating in how it highlights how advice has changed over the decades, and where it is now.
- 20. We Lie About Our Eating Habits When We Eat Crappy Food. Some interesting studies featured here that highlight the fact that when we eat poorly, we lie about how bad it was, compared to other people judging how poorly we ate.
The Best Habit Apps, Tools and More
- 21. 8 Ridiculously Easy Tools I Use Every Day To Create Healthy Habits Every Day. I profiled some of the most useful habit apps, tools, and other strategies I use as I talked about in my book Master The Day.
- 22. 7 Apps To Help You Achieve Your Goals and Build New Habits. Michael talks about some tools that he uses as far as iPhone apps goes – including my favorite, Strides.
- 23. The 8 Best Apps For Meeting Goals and Forming New Habits. An interesting list here that breaks apps down by various groups: for meditators, creative people, the visually-focused, and more.
- 24. Pick Four. The Zig Ziglar Goal Achievement System. A tool I use every single night, as well as something I send every client that works with me personally. Possibly one of the absolute best tools for changing habits, and I love being “old school” and putting pen to paper.
- 25. The Fitbit Flex Activity Tracker. I’m totally old school, so I’m not into “wearable tech,” but tons of people I know talk about how much the fitbit has helped them stay more active on a day to day basis, especially reminding them to walk more and be active.
Specific Habits to Lose Weight And Feel Better
- 26. 7 Healthy Habits That Helped Me Lose 170 Pounds in One Year. A fascinating look at losing weight “the fast way” the first time, and then “the right way” the second time.
- 27. How to Do a 24 Hour Detox: Avoid These 3 Things. Detoxes and cleanses seem to be all the rage right now, but very few people know why they do them, or what they’re supposed to get out of them. This is a very simple guide that highlights the core principles behind a detox.
- 28. The Single Most Important Habit You Need For Better Health. An interesting article that covers a really critical habit (that I agree with) is usually in the top 3 most important. Also, it’s non-scammy.
- 29. A Modern Health Monk Case Study: How Shannon & Her Husband Lost 70 Pounds by Changing 1 Habit. It’s easy to get discouraged thinking that there’s a mountain of stuff to overcome in order to get healthy again, and fortunately, that’s not always true. This is a good case study to illustrate that.
- 30. Weight Loss For Women Over 40: 101 Tiny Things You Can Do Today. A guide that I think really embodies the top 101 habits a person would need to pay attention to to lose weight, have more energy, and feel better. The best part is that they’re all tiny habits that virtually anyone can do today.
Success Stories and Case Studies – And Their Daily Habits
- 31. 7 Habits That Turned Me Into a Weight Loss Success Story. An interesting case study by a guy who used to be 300 pounds and depressed, and turned his life around. I particularly liked that he emphasized the good old success principle of modeling other successful people (instead of guessing).
- 32. 15 Habits Of People That Lost Over 20-30 Pounds and Kept it Off. I liked that she talked about one major concept: the more we demonize certain foods and put them on the “naughty” list, the more power they have over us.
- 33. How Lauryn Lost 100+ Pounds as a Single Mother. Rarely do you get to read a success story of someone that lost 100+ pounds and isn’t scammy. This is an interview I personally did.
How to Stay Consistent With Health Habits
- 34. How to Build Good Habits. A take in this article that I really liked was the idea of setting up macro goals and micro quotes – almost like tiny wins and big wins.
- 35. How to Make Running a Habit That Sticks. Definitely better than some of the classic old “stay with it!” advice. It goes into some great ideas for figuring out what your unique barriers are to habits, then conquering them.
- 36. The 21 Day Habit Formation Myth. Contrary to what people think, the 21 days to form a habit idea has been disproven (or maybe never was proven). This is some great research on the three-phase approach to habits, starting with the honeymoon phase.
- 37. 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick (And Keep Them). I thought this was going to be a corny list, but I actually really like the “but” technique – a simple way to alter how you think about changing behavior.
- 38. The 60 Second Habit That Can Turn You Into an Exerciser For Life (That CEOS and Olympians Use). It’s temping to want to seek out new tips and tactics for how to create habits. But sometimes the truth is much more simple, and it’s often an inner game. This article goes into detail on that.
Common Habits in Successful, Healthy, People
- 39. 12 Highly Successful People Share The Morning Routines That Set Them Up For Success. Not just health-related, but also productivity, happiness, and financially related. A great look at some quirky routines that “successful” people engage in daily.
- 40. Here’s How The World’s Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days. A fascinating look at 26 or so of the last 200 years’ famous creatives and exactly how they broke up each day, based on work, sleep, walking, and their unique quirks.
- 41. Revealed: The Two Daily Health Habits of Millionaires. Successful people aren’t necessarily known for being the healthiest, but seeing as it’s hard to work hard if we aren’t healthy, here are two of the most common health habits I’ve seen among millionaires.
- 42. The Man Who Lived to be 256 – Li Ching Yuen. An interesting Wikipedia article about a man (mentioned in The New York Times magazine in 1930 as well as by other well-known people of the time) who apparently lived to be 256 by adopting Taoist practices, consuming medicinal herbs, and practicing qigong. You can read excerpts from his interview too which is pretty cool.
- 43. 100 Years of Healthy Habits: Secrets of Chinese Centenarians. It’s easy to just think that people who live long have “good genes” but when some researchers went to a “longevity village” in China, that’s not what they found.
Habits for Having More Energy
- 44. 18 Unusual Habits That Boost Your Energy More Than Coffee. An entrepreneur-focused article, but nonetheless some really great advice for people that work hard, and work a lot.
- 45. 3 Tips to Make Juicing Your Hot New Sexy Habit. I loved that Farnoosh here talks about how she felt better from juicing, but struggled with actually making it a habit – so she’d yoyo. She’d feel crappy for a few days, juice for a few days, then go back to feeling crappy. And it wasn’t until she used three strategies to anchor in the habit did she consistently juice. Right up my ally!
- 46. 7 Ways to Have More Energy Each Day. Sometimes it’s not purely nutrition, and sometimes it’s hormonal (like a thyroid issue). An article by J.J. Virgin that brings up some less-common points.
- 47. Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time. A really interesting read on the Harvard Business Review. Not just related to health, but productivity and happiness too. Do your hardest health habits when you have the most energy, and the easiest ones when you’re the most tired.
- 48. Having More Energy the “Gorilla Mindset Way.” A really interesting look at how intangible factors – not food, not exercise, and not sleep – affect energy.
- 49. 10 Ways to Supercharge Your Energy at Work. Another look at how to increase energy at work, without dietary or exercise factors. Who knew that hating your job could run your batteries down so much?!
- 50. 21 Tips To Get The Best Sleep Ever. I included this one because it’s a great, research-backed article on sleeping better, and gimmicks-aside, one of the main reasons we feel crappy and don’t have energy is because we don’t sleep enough. I bet that if you slept an extra 2 hours a night, you wouldn’t need coffee, would you? Two hours may not be realistic, but you get the point.
One Last Vital Habits Resource
And finally, one last resource on creating, maintaining, and sticking with good health habits.
After interviewing people that lost 100+ pounds and kept it off in a healthy way by changing habits (and not eating Paleo or some other fad), I broke it down into a few basic success principles you’ll find in the book.
Some Images Via Freedigitalphotos.net