healthy habits important for life

How to have healthy habits

5 May 2024

If you’re like me, you want to have healthy habits in place to support you as you get older. And so, you’re probably aware positive habits can help to support you to manage life’s challenges, keep healthy and stay motivated.

I know, it’s not easy to do the things you know you should be doing. Often we know what to do to take care of ourselves. But, at the end of a long day, Netflix and a glass of wine seems so much more tempting than that visit to the gym.

Understanding habits

Understanding your habits and how to create healthy ones can help make life easier for you without having to think too much about it. This helps when you’re feeling stressed, tired and lethargic and all you want to do is sit on the sofa and eat and crisps. Once those healthy habits are in place, you end up taking action without even thinking about it.

healthy habits drinking water

What are habits?

Habits are things you do on repeat without much thought or effort. They’re often automatic behaviours you’ve learned over time by practising them regularly. Most daily activities are habits, whether it’s brushing your teeth, driving to work, choosing what to eat or how you relax after a stressful day.

Healthy habits

Creating healthy habits helps lock positive daily actions into your routines. This way they become automatic and you don’t need to think about them anymore. Then you can have more energy to devote to all the other things in your life.

Habits can make life much easier. For instance, getting into the habit of preparing your lunch for the next day can help reduce the chance of you being tempted by fast food at lunchtime. And it will give you more time as you are getting ready for work in the morning.

For more on eating habits, take look at five-ways-mindful-eating-can-stop-you-overeating/

healthy habits make life easier

Once something becomes a habit, you tend to continue to do it, even when that first flush of motivation has faded. As habits become second-nature, they become a large part of who you are. So, once the habit loop’s formed to drink water, eat healthily or exercise regularly, it stays in place. As a result, the part of the brain that’s needed to focus on the activity and motivate you to do it isn’t needed any more. This means, even if you’re feeling low or can’t be bothered, your habit kicks in so you take the action to support you to have a healthy and productive life. And as this is all automatic, it frees up your mental energy so your brain can focus on other things.

For more on how to keep motivated check out /improving-motivation-without-trying-too-hard/

Client story

George’s problem

George (not his real name), is a 56 year old sales director working for a large London insurance firm. He came to me because he was concerned about his drinking habit. George is a divorced dad with two adult daughters who was now in a new relationship. George had to entertain clients as part of his job and knew he didn’t want to stop drinking completely. He felt that his drinking habit had taken over and wanted to be more in control around alcohol.

George had got into the habit of drinking wine early in the day, especially when he was working from home. He wasn’t able to stop until the wine bottle was empty. George also wanted to stop using alcohol as a way of helping him to get through his working day or when doing “boring tasks”.

George’s goals included having alcohol free days each week and to improving his health by eating more healthily and taking more exercise. George had tried many times to change but believed his reliance on alcohol was stopping him from being able to stick to new, healthier habits.

drinking too much is a habit that can be overcome

George’s results

We worked together to unpick Georges’s habits around alcohol. We examined the situations that led him to drink and the thoughts and feelings that triggered him to reach for a glass of wine.

George began to understand that anxiety about work made him drink more. He was able to link it to having been suddenly made redundant a few years earlier. George identified a constant underlying worry about not having worked hard enough and fear of losing his job. Together, we developed new ways for George to manage his thoughts and developed helpful strategies for him to use to cope with life’s challenges.

George began to drink less. He started drinking later and stopped sooner. George broke his habit of drinking when he was working from home. He no longer felt compelled to finish drinking a glass or bottle of wine.

George changed his approach to alcohol. He learnt to become more present when he was drinking wine. As he did so, he noticed and appreciated the experience of enjoying a glass of wine instead of drinking out of habit. He discovered how to get more enjoyment from each mouthful and it helped him to drink less and be satisfied with smaller amounts. He also learnt to pause rather than drinking on autopilot. He was so pleased with the changes he was making that his confidence in himself and his ability to take control of his life improved. As a result, George started to look at other areas of his life and changed his diet and started exercising more too. He noticed he was losing weight and became more motivated to continue with his new healthier habits.

Find out more on improving confidence here

Replacing wine with a cup of tea while working

In Georges’s words

I’d been struggling with drinking too much for as long as I can remember. I’d tried many times to change, even doing dry January, but nothing worked for me in the long term. I came to see Celia because I knew I needed help to make a positive change in my life for good.

Celia is excellent at getting you to ask yourself difficult questions and address issues. She is very professional, thoughtful and thorough in her approach. I found the hypnotherapy a very positive approach for me . In fact, it helped me far more than I could have hoped. Looking at how my thoughts, feelings and actions are connected changed how I approached things. It’s helped me to do things differently. The results are definitely worth the effort you put in.

I’ve never been able to sustain any improvements before. Six months on, I am still drinking less. I’m well on my way to reaching all my health goals and I’ve a better quality of life as a result. I can’t thank Celia enough.

healthy habits support wellbeing

Change is possible

If this sounds like you, there are steps you can take to change your habits. It takes time, but it can be done. When I work with clients with habits they want to change, I listen to all their worries and fears about giving up their habit. I support them to make changes at a pace that is right for them. We work together to develop a way of coping with life’s pressures without the habit, putting in place new and helpful strategies to support you.

Here are my five top tips for creating healthy habits to support your life.

healthy habits paying attention to emotions

1. Add new habits to old ones

It’s much easier to add to an existing habit than trying to create a new one. So, tying new habits to things you already do is a simple way to make them part of your daily routine.

So, instead of planning to go for a walk later, plan to go for a walk right after dinner every evening. Instead of planning to do some exercise, dance around the kitchen every time you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. Or you could add a glass of water to your morning coffee.

2. Reward success

Positive emotions can help you to stay motivated to stick to new habits. Having happy memories of feeling good about your actions help reinforce your new habit. So, when you perform your new habit, treat yourself to a small reward. Try and make sure your rewards reinforce your new habit, so for instance you could:

  • reward going to the gym consistently with some new gym kit
  • reward leaving work on time with half an hour reading a novel
  • reward eating a healthy meal by treating yourself to your favourite fruit for dessert.

Even small rewards will reinforce a new habit.

3. Set small goals

Start with a small goal rather than trying to make a huge shift from your normal behaviour.

Creating a new habit is much easier if you focus on starting with something small and realistic for you.

  • So instead of trying to walk to work every day, start by getting off the bus or train one stop earlier and gradually work your way up.
  • Or rather than changing your diet completely, start by adding a piece of fruit to your lunchtime sandwich.

healthy habits connecting with others

4. Get support

Having a support system in place can make it easier to build new habits over time. You could try joining a social group or enlist the help of friends or family to help you stick to your new habit. This helps you to be accountable and makes it more difficult to back out of your commitment. And, more importantly, once others know you’re working toward a goal, they’ll be more likely to be encouraging and supportive.

This could mean asking a friend to join you on as you get fit or eat more healthily, joining a sports or meditation group or simply sharing your goals with others. Whatever you choose, having a support network can help you to stay on track.

5. Give it time

The time it takes to build a new habit varies from person to person. No matter how long it takes to build a habit, whether its a few weeks or a few months, it’s worth the time and effort.

Researchers studying how people form habits found that it can take anything from 18 to 254 days to form a habiti. So, new practices can take a long time to create. But, they do form faster if you do them more often. So, this makes it important to start with something that’s easy and practical to do for you.

It can be challenging to stay motivated while you’re building new healthy habits, especially if progress seems slow or setbacks occur. There are ways you can help to stay focused on what you want to achieve. Hypnosis is a fantastic tool to help keep you on track while you’re creating healthy new habits.  For more on how hypnotherapy can help you take a look at

You can find out more about healthy habits from the NHS here

If you’d like to know how I can help you to improve your habits contact me for a chat.


Would you like to make living life easier, right now? Get your free Live Life on Your Terms recording here and begin to live your life with confidence.

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