How to Establish Healthy Habits

How to Achieve Work/Life Balance

Whether you want to get more sleep, exercise more often, quit smoking or eat healthier, what you need isn't healthy behaviors that you might practice intermittently. Rather, it's healthy habits that you practice every day.

"We humans are endlessly interested in the idea of self-improvement," author AJ Agrawal writes in an article for "While such efforts toward self-improvement are inherently good, the outcomes can be frustrating. Often, people fall short of their goals because they get sidetracked and let other areas of life take priority. But what's key to seeing that big new goal through to fruition is developing the right habits to support it."

According to Agrawal, the key to turning a healthy behavior into a healthy habit is scheduling.

"Setting a schedule at the start of every week helps you hold yourself accountable," he says. "If you take the time to block out points in your day to focus on your new habit, you'll be less likely to forget or simply skip over it. It's dangerous, and most likely disappointing, to rely on willpower alone, especially at the beginning of a new challenge."

In addition to keeping a schedule, try keeping a journal in which you track progress toward your goals.

"Forming good habits is a process, and not always a fun one," Agrawal concludes. "Keeping track of your daily efforts and successes will not only help you build confidence in yourself, but will serve as an extra motivating force on those days when your goals seem too difficult or out of reach."

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