Health

A 7-Day Guide to Creating Healthy Habits That Stick

Use this guide to plan for success this year.

By: Dominique Michelle Astorino

You want to make your healthy habits stick, you really do! After all, you put so much thought and effort into setting your resolutions, determining your goals, and mustering up the motivation to get started. But, somewhere along the way, sticking to your healthy habits becomes tough. Whether it’s diminished motivation, the comfort of falling back into old habits or biting off more than you can chew (out of sheer excitement), it’s easy to let your healthy habits slip. While getting revved up about starting a healthier lifestyle is great, we want to keep the momentum going!

So, we’re here to offer a little guidance and support. In fact, we’re going to walk you through a simple, segmented, sequential approach that will piece out small changes that add up over time. Not only will this plan feel a lot more manageable, but it will also help you feel confident and accomplished in your abilities. Plus, it will help you reap all the benefits of these good-for-you healthy habits. Sound good? Let’s get started!

RELATED: 20 New Year’s Goals That Are Actually Worth Making

A One-Week Guide to Making Those New Healthy Habits Stick

Day One: Take Note

This is a day of observation — assessing the situation. You’ll want to assess all areas (physical, mental, and emotional). Keep a food log, record movement, water intake, steps, mood, wake-up and bedtime, stress levels, etc. — continue this for the week. You’ll be able to look back, reflect, and decide which areas of your wellness routine may need to be tweaked. This is also a great way to keep yourself accountable!

Day Two: Up Your H2O

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Without making any changes to your diet (but continuing to log it!), start to add more water. We say this a lot, but most of us are chronically dehydrated. P.S. Even mild dehydration (a mere 1-2% water loss) can impair brain function! Upping your water game will help with overall performance, energy levels, digestion, mood, and more — so get to sipping. Add an extra glass or two (or more, if you’re feeling ambitious) to your day, and continue for the next six days (and beyond). 

Aside from increasing your water intake, you can load up on water-rich foods, drink hydrating beverages like coconut water and herbal teas, and even make a DIY electrolyte drink.

Day Three: Add a Green To Every Meal

Again — adding something healthy but not taking anything away. This can be greens or another brightly colored vegetable. Consider a spinach smoothie or omelet, a veggie sandwich at lunch, or a rainbow-colored plate at dinnertime (you can even throw spinach and kale into your pasta — it’s really delicious). Try to add some produce to at least one meal per day, more if you’re feeling ambitious, and continue this through day seven. 

There are so many healthy and delicious ways to sneak more greens into your diet — you’d be surprised how simple it is! 

Need a delicious recipe to get you inspired? Try this Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie made with spinach. Trust us, it tastes like dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup baby spinach

Directions:

Step #1: Add everything to the blender. Blend until smooth.

RELATED: The Healthiest Foods to Eat in 2023

Day Four: Walk It Out

Get outside for some fresh air — preferably first thing in the morning or midday — and walk for 15 to 30 minutes. Getting your blood flowing with a little extra vitamin D can do wonders for so many aspects of your health and really rounds out the rest of your habits with some healthy, low-impact movement. It’ll not only help your body, but it can clear your head, too. 

And if you ask us, walking workouts are underrated! Walking benefits your mood and mental health, boosts weight loss, and even benefits sleep.

Try this FitOn Walking Fitness workout with Bree Koegel!

Day Five: Catch More Zzzs

More sleep, better habits. Better habits, better sleep. It’s a — what’s the opposite of vicious? — cycle that you’ll appreciate more and more as time goes on. Scale back your bedtime by 30 to 60 minutes (you can start small and scale-up). P.S. If you’re guilty of scrolling while in bed (we’ve all been there), you should know that in-bed time does not equate to sleep time. So, giving yourself more time, in general, can help improve the duration and quality of your sleep. 

And — as you may already know — sleep is the absolute foundation for all things health and recovery. At this point, you’ll be drinking your water, eating your greens, walking, journaling… and now recovering and cementing your habits while you sleep.

Want to give your evening routine a boost? Sign up for free and try a FitOn before bed meditation:

Day Six: Morning Zen

Now that you’re rested, hydrated, nourished, and tracking habits, it’s time to add in some mindfulness. Begin your day before you do anything else with a few minutes of meditation. Try habit stacking — like meditating before you brush your teeth or pour your coffee — to ensure this sticks. This is a daily practice that’ll amplify the results of all your other good habits.

To get centered before your day gets going, try one of these morning mindset FitOn meditations

Day Seven: Plan Your Week

You’ve got great habits that are ready to roll! Now that you’ve planted the seeds for these healthy behaviors, it’s time to keep it going and grow stronger and healthier. Use a few minutes before bedtime (your new and improved earlier bedtime) to plan your next seven days. 

How do you want to feel? What good habits will help you feel that way? This is also a time to review your seven days of tracking — how did you do? What would make next week even better? What were some highlights of trying these new habits? Take inventory, and use this information to propel you forward. You can also use this time to plan your workouts (try adding some yoga or HIIT next week!) and add it into your calendar and set workout reminders right in your FitOn app. 

If you found this seven-day guide helpful, why not challenge yourself and keep the momentum going? Join our 14-Day motivation challenge to secure these healthy habits with two weeks of tips and tricks.

Keep It Going

As alluded to on day seven, the goal is to get these habits to stick well beyond one week. See if you can keep them going little by little, or choose one to really focus on for a week or so before adding another. 

Again, this may seem ‘too easy’ or like they’re baby steps for beginners — but try it for a week or so, and then get back to us. Most people aren’t nailing the basics (even the pros — wellness professionals neglect these areas of their health ALL the time), so take some time to check in with yourself and build that foundation!