How To Adopt New Healthy Habits

An important part of rehab aftercare is self-improvement and learning new, healthy habits to replace old, unhealthy ones. When you first begin any self-improvement program, you’re probably feeling very enthusiastic and motivated. You’re focused on how old habits caused you pain, and how new habits will make your life better. But it can be hard to stay motivated, because it isn’t in our nature to carry that level of enthusiasm with us at all times. So we depend upon our willpower to reinforce new healthy habits, but no one has an endless supply of that, either. So what’s a person to do?
Set Small Goals

Big changes can be difficult for your brain to accept. But you can sneak in small changes gradually, and build up to a bigger change. For example, instead of declaring “I’m going to volunteer at a charity five afternoons per week!”, try one day per week and work your way up.

Use Your Triggers for Good

If something has always triggered an unhealthy habit in the past, anticipate that and replace it with a positive habit. If you used to have cocktails after work, replace that habit with a new one at the exact same time. Your trigger might be associated with stress, so replace your unhealthy stress “treatment” with a new, positive habit.

Get it Done Early

We have more willpower in the morning, so if you’re trying to start a new healthy habit that’s a good time to do it. Meditate, go for a run, take a yoga class… getting it over with first thing in the morning gives you feelings of pride and accomplishment that last all day.

Get a Buddy

Hopefully you’ll make a few new friends in rehab aftercare, who are on the same journey. Enlist one or several of them to participate in your new healthy habit with you, and you can hold one another accountable for your participation and progress.

Pick Something Convenient

If you choose something overly inconvenient for your new healthy habit, you’re less likely to complete your goal. Climbing Mount Everest is a great fitness ambition, but one that will require time, money, and travel. Decide to compete in a marathon instead; you can run anywhere, at almost any time, and all you need is a pair of running shoes.

 Pick Something Fun

Your new healthy habit should be something you genuinely enjoy. After all, it’s not an effective stress reliever or a good replacement for an old unhealthy habit if you don’t enjoy it! Make sure you pick an activity that truly enriches your life and makes you feel like a better person.


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