Watercolor painting of a white witch by Jennifer Ramirez - Warmsquirrel

6 Tips for how to build healthy habits

  1. Avoid triggers
  2. Positive rewarding
  3. Dissect your behaviour
  4. Feel accountable for your choices
  5. Use a calendar to keep track of your habits
  6. Create a new normal

1. Avoid triggers.

Do not engage in situations that will set you back into bad routines. For instance, if you want to eat healthier do not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach and without a list.

The “Habit Loop”

The Habit Loop is a neurological loop that governs any habit, not only bad habits. The loop consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward.

The Habit loop graphic explains how habits are constructed in the brain.
The Habit loop graphic explains how habits are constructed in the brain.

The Cue:
The cue is the one that tells your brain to go into automatic mode which then triggers a behavior.

Example: Having the desire to stay in front of the computer binge watching videos and eating chips instead of exercising.

The Routine:
The Routine is the behavior in itself that you are engaging with.

Example: Binge watching videos and eating chips instead of exercising.

The Reward:
The Reward is the effect your brain interprets as good and that will make the cycle complete.

Example: Feeling very happy and satisfied after binge watching videos and eating chips instead of exercising. 😂

Voila! You have a new habit.

2. Positive rewarding.

Reward yourself with positive phrases every time you accomplish a new routine. A loud: “Good job!” or a self hug can make marvelous things to your brain ❤️

Get to know yourself.

What are your personality traits? Are you a strong and determined person or are you a person that needs to avoid triggers at any cause? There are not right and wrong ways to approach habit changes since this is not a race, it is YOU taking control over your consciousness and your psychic baggage in order to make sustainable changes.

Accepting yourself as you really are is the starting point before committing to changing habits. Now let’s see how we can help the brain to make new healthy habits.

3. Dissect your behaviors.

Every time you want to engage in an unhealthy behavior make a stop before your impulses kick and think. “If I do eat this whole big bag of candies what would the consequences be…” 😉

A study found that: “Intermittent access to sugar can lead to behavioral and neurochemical changes that resemble the effects of a substance of abuse.”


Basically what the study says is that sugar acts like a drug in the brain, and It does this by affecting the chemistry of the limbic system, the part of the brain that’s associated with emotional control. We all love sugary drinks, chocolate, candies. It tastes good, it is available everywhere but we are slowly changing our brain by eating it. 😱

4. Feel accountable for your choices.

The information is there, our brains love learning. Do your homework and make informed decisions.

What is sugar doing to your body?

5. Get a schedule or a calendar to keep track of your habits.

Using a calendar or a diary to keep track of the habits you want to implement. Stick to the calendar, keep track of your behavior until it becomes a new healthy habit.

If you have tried changing bad habits you know how hard it can be. Especially habits that require discipline and self sacrifice. Things that require extra effort are the hardest to achieve. But why?

Warmsquirrel Calendar Of Beautiful Habits

Here is a calendar I made with a simple system to help with creating and maintaining healthy habits. Its free and you can download it via the button below!

6. Create a new normal

Our bodies are very complex and our minds even more so. But when it comes to the way our brain works in terms of habits it seems to be just a matter of energy conservation. Can you imagine that?

We all know that having a night in and watching some series is totally fine if you can control your impulse to repeat this everyday. However, habits that involve social interaction such as alcohol consumption and smoking are much harder to get away from our lives because they are linked social activity. We often associate intoxication with letting loose in social situations or for some it is being able to numb the nervousness and anxiety related to social situations.

So, what are you feeding your brain as the “New Normal“?

” Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories and pattern recognition. Decisions, meanwhile, are made in a different part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. But as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts”.

Dede Henley

Basically growth stops when we stop thinking and taking decisions. Our brain stops developing and our learning abilities too.

the negative habit loop graphic
Negative habit loop

Building better habits can rewire your mind.

Although it is hard to find time to stick to healthy habits it is the only chance we have to discover our full potential. To find our inner light and to achieve what we always wanted. To see life beyond fear, self boycotting or negativity.

It is okay to fail in the process and we should not feel ashamed of accepting our failures.

Every time we fail we are actually learning and feeding our brain a “New Normal” until finally the new normal is not to let yourself down. The desire of change and discipline become your “New normal”! 🙌

Ice bath in the frozen Baltic Sea

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