You may not even realize it, but your day is already packed full of habits — good ones and bad ones. Your body is used to your habits, so if you completely stop one to implement something new, it can be hard to maintain.

Habits come from small, intentional changes over time. To form a new habit, you must break the old one, too. So, instead of striving for a complete lifestyle makeover, try these eight achievable tips to help you form new habits.

Write down 1-3 healthy goals you want to achieve this year.

1. Write down 1-3 healthy goals you want to achieve this year.

It doesn’t matter if your goals are big or small because any healthy change you make is something to celebrate. Here are a few healthy goals:

  • Replace soda with water
  • Cook healthy meals at home
  • Read 12 books
  • Run or walk a 5K
  • Go to bed earlier

2. Choose simple actions to help you achieve these goals.

Making a drastic change overnight can be hard on your body and mind. Give yourself time and make a plan.

  • If your goal is to stop drinking soda, an easy action might be to swap soda with sparkling water.
  • If your goal is to cook healthy meals at home, start with easy recipes that require few ingredients.
  • If your goal is to read more, your first action can be to cut screen time in the evenings.
  • If your goal is to run or walk a 5k, begin your journey with daily walks or an easy-to-follow plan.
  • If your goal is to go to bed earlier, adjust your sleep schedule by 10-15 minutes every evening until you reach your goal.

You get the idea. If your goal seems out of reach, just take it one step at a time.

3. Don’t bite off more habits than you can chew.

If your goal is to live a healthy life, we’re so proud of you. However, this doesn’t mean you have to turn your life upside down! Start with one or two healthy changes and build on them. Letting your body adjust to changes slowly will help keep you from falling back into unhealthy routines. Just keep it simple!

4. Be consistent.

Consistency can be tough, but it’s an important way to make habits stick. For example, going to bed at the same time every day (even on the weekends) will make it easier in the long run. If you alter your new routines, they’ll eventually break.

However, building consistent habits doesn’t have to look the same every day. If your goal is to get active, that doesn’t always mean lifting weights. Some days it may mean a walk around the block, a living room yoga flow or a free group fitness class. It isn’t necessarily about what you do; it’s just that you do it.

Ask for support.

5. Ask for support.

We can be our own harshest critics — so that’s where friends and family come in! Ask your friend, neighbor or partner to join in on your new health journey and lean on each other for support. There’s nothing better than a walking buddy on chilly mornings or a sous chef in the kitchen!

Encourage yourself along the way.

6. Encourage yourself along the way.

Whether you have a support system or not, you can still make progress! Using a reward system might motivate you to stay the course. Set milestones and assign rewards accordingly. The rewards don’t have to break the bank — they can be anything from self-care nights to a new water bottle or journal! Progress can sometimes feel slow or never-ending. Recognize and celebrate your hard work whenever you can!

7. Don’t give up!

No matter what, don’t give up. You have to be consistent to meet your goals, but everybody has bad days. Maybe a busy season at work makes it hard to cook at home. Maybe the Oklahoma weather keeps you from the gym. Maybe a bad cold is keeping you in bed. Life happens. So don’t beat yourself up; just vow to keep trying!

Reflect on your journey.

8. Reflect on your journey.

When you reach your goals, take time to reflect on everything you have accomplished! Life is busy — you have dozens of responsibilities, so the fact that you found time to make a change is amazing. Journal your thoughts and feelings or celebrate your accomplishments with your support system. After all, you should be proud.

Shape Your Future is here to support you throughout the year! Check out healthy recipes, workout ideas and tips for saving money and time.