Discover how to create healthy lifestyle habits for LIFE with my easy, 8-step process. You’ll learn how to ditch diets and deprivation forever, develop a sustainable lifestyle, and start living your healthiest, happiest life today!

How to Create Habits for a Healthy, Happy Life | Get tips & tools, and join my Healthy Habit Community on Facebook for Support, Motivation, and Inspiration! | EA Stewart, Spicy RD Nutrition

How to Create Healthy Lifestyle Habits in 8 Easy Steps

1. Identify your “Big Why.”

Why do you want to accomplish X, Y, or Z??? This is a crucial first step towards ensuring you’re likely to follow through with your healthy lifestyle habits and goals. For example, my “big why” is to live a vibrant, healthy life into old age.

2. Write down all your health goals, both short-term and long-term.  

These goals should be realistic and doable.

Tip! If one of your goals is “to reach a healthy weight,” I challenge you to pick at least one other goal that isn’t weight-related, such as “to have more energy” or “to feel happier.” These are often the changes you’ll notice first, which will help motivate you to keep up your new habits.

3. Determine your current level of motivation on a scale of 1-10.

This is SO important and something I ask my clients before making any diet or health changes. But, of course, sometimes you’re NOT ready to change your habits, and that’s A-OK.

4. List ALL obstacles {real or perceived} keeping you from reaching your goals. 

Just a few examples that come up with my clients are: “I travel too much,” “I don’t know what’s healthy to eat,” “I have no time to exercise,” “I don’t know how to cook,” “I don’t enjoy cooking,” I don’t know what diet is right for me, plus SO many more. So write them ALL down and identify what obstacles you want to work on immediately.

5. Choose up to 5 healthy lifestyle habits to work on AND put a * by your top 2.

From my experience, focusing on just a couple of healthy lifestyle habits at a time is much more doable for most clients. While you may identify several habits to work on, sticking with 1-2 at a time is much easier. This is especially true when life gets extra busy-for many of us, most of the time!

6. Write down HOW you will monitor your habits & track your progress.

This could be a healthy lifestyle habits tracker form, an old-fashioned journal, or one of the many smartphone apps available. There’s no right or wrong choice. Experiment with different tracking tools and find something that works for you. See my recommended resources at the bottom of this post.

7. Identify any resources/education/support you need to reach your goals.

Examples include working with a dietitian or nutrition coach (I’d love to work with you!), reading a self-help book, downloading an app, taking a class, using a customizable meal planner, etc.

8. Choose your support system.

This can be someone in your family, a friend, a dietitian, a physician, a trainer, a therapist, an online forum, or a smartphone app.

More Tips for Creating Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Start small. You can work on up to 5 healthy lifestyle habits at a time, but keep your focus on 1 or 2 of them. Once these initial habits become routine, you can focus on adding new ones later.

Start whenever you are ready. There is no need to wait until Monday or for the “perfect time,” as often there is NO perfect time to start. But it’s also essential to do your “homework” ahead of time and determine if you’re ready to make changes.

Allow a minimum of 30 days to change a habit or create a new one. Often, habit change may take up to 60-90 days or even longer. That’s ok. Stay positive and think about long-term success!

Try something new. On the flip side, if you get bored with doing the same thing each day, why not try a new healthy lifestyle habit each day for a month? For example, let’s say you want to “eat better” (a little broad, I know). You can try doing something new daily, like eating veggies for breakfast, meal planning, sticking to 3 meals/per day, etc.

If you don’t succeed at first, try {and try} {and try again}! I think I’m on my 5th or so go around with getting into a strength training habit. For some reason, this has been a hard habit for me to stick with. But, as I get older, I realize how important it is to maintain muscle mass, so I keep forging ahead!

Re-frame your mindset, and tell yourself that hard work is required. Habits aren’t easily changed {at first}, but once you securely adopt your new habits, they will be MUCH easier to maintain~I promise!

Think outside the box and redefine what you “can” and “can not” do. For example, before I started following a gluten-free diet, I thought the only way I could cook was to follow a recipe. But, once I stopped eating gluten, I was forced to get creative in the kitchen & create my recipes—bottom line: No matter your age, you can always learn and master new things.

Healthy Habits Resources

I hope you will find these healthy lifestyle habits resources & tools helpful. I use them personally, as well as with my nutrition coaching clients. If you have any other favorite healthy habit resources to share, please share your recommendations with me~thanks so much!

Free Healthy Habits Worksheet and Tracker (Instant Download)

Healthy Habits Books

Healthy Habits Websites & Articles

Let’s Chat!

  • What are your biggest challenges in keeping up with healthy habits and reaching your health goals?
  • Do you have any healthy lifestyle habits you want to change or add?
  • What are your favorite tips to share for creating new habits?

If you enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to share it! Thanks so much for your support in helping me spread the word that healthy IS delicious!

Kick off your healthy lifestyle with these Spicy RD Shop favorites!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Angela Bordio says:

    I just discovered this website, and I must say I’m already loving it! Especially, I appreciate the emphasis on identifying our “Big Why” and setting realistic goals beyond just weight-related outcomes. And the step-by-step approach and the inclusion of tips and resources make it feel attainable and empowering. It’s refreshing to find an article that acknowledges the importance of starting small. So thank you for sharing this valuable content!

  2. Tommy Rybicki says:

    These are really awesome tips, I made sure to share this on Twitter. I think setting goals, and starting small are key. Personally, setting achievable goals early on has helped me feel like I have accomplished something, and is motivation to stick with it. I think too lofty aspirations right from the get go can lead to frustration when you don’t reach right them right away.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much Tommy for sharing the post on Twitter, and also, for sharing your experience with goal setting-this is so helpful to others! I’m so glad to hear that “starting small” with goals has helped you, and I 100% agree that having “too lofty aspirations” can be frustrating when you don’t achieve all your goals. I wish you lots of success, and small victories 🙂 Cheers!

  3. Brittany Poulson says:

    Sounds like a great group! I bet there is a wealth of information to be gained from it – I mean, who doesn’t want some extra *sparkle* in life?!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Ha, ha! Yes! I think we can ALL use a little extra sparkle in our lives 🙂

  4. Maria Zamarripa says:

    I LOVE the tip to have goals focused on how you feel (i.e. energy, happiness etc.). So important to make this positive connection with wholesome food and healthy habits as well. Great post :).

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much Maria! I hope your week is off to a fabulous start 🙂

  5. Amy Gorin says:

    Love this! So many people like to do a “reset” in September and this will be really helpful.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much Amy! September is always a good month for me to do a re-set too. Things seem much more do-able when my kids are out of the house, and at school 🙂

  6. Lauren O'connor says:

    Great tips here EA. Reframing your mindset is an important one. Not always easy, but important to move forward.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks Lauren! I can personally think of several new healthy habits I’ve created simply by changing my mindset. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Nutrition by Nazima says:

    Amazing tips! Thank you for sharing them!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much Nazima! I’m glad you found them helpful. Cheers!

  8. Shannon @ KISS in the Kitchen says:

    I love that you’ve started a group for this and have provided the step by step process, especially the gut-check on how motivated you really are! This is so helpful; thank you!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much Shannon! And, yes, I think it’s so important to know your true level of motivation before starting a new habit. So glad you stopped by today!