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3 Roadblocks To Forming Healthier Habits, According To An Expert

mbg Beauty Director

By Alexandra Engler

mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she’s held beauty roles at Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and

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On this week’s episode of Clean Beauty School, I chatted with natural wellness and beauty expert Mona Vand, PharmaD, about how to make healthy habits sustainable. This is, I should say, no small feat these days.

“It takes time and energy and money to do all of these wellness things, and we only have a certain amount of hours during the day. So know your why, do your research behind the practice, and try one thing at a time. If it resonates with you, then great, continue it. If not, then don’t keep doing it—don’t waste money on it,” she told me. 

I had on Vand so she could dish on all the various ways she takes care of herself—and she does, don’t worry—but the conversation took a more interesting turn when we got into how and why she does it. Because as I came to learn early on in the conversation, Vand is somehow equal parts highly disciplined and realistic.

Here, her tips on keeping on track. Tune into the episode to learn more. 

Preemptively eliminate hurdles that get in your way 

The key to living well is to make it easy, says Vand. What does she mean by this? Identify the roadblocks that are in between you and healthier habits—and find ways to ensure they’re no longer roadblocks. 

“I get so specific with my routine and my day: What is going to make my day-to-day seamless? For example, where are all my supplements going to go so that I can grab it in the morning? How is my food going to be arranged in the fridge? When I buy groceries, what days am I going to do it on? Where are my to-do lists and journals?” she says. “Because I am trying to see what’s stopping me from not achieving the things I want to achieve.” 

Taking stock is the first step, but then it’s about finding creative solutions. “For example, why am I not having time to work out every day? What’s stopping me?” she said. “So, the solution was I’m gonna get my tea ready, I’m going to have my clothes out the night before, and I’m going to bed at a certain time.”

Be intentional about the small stuff

Habits don’t have to be huge changes—focus on the small stuff if living healthier seems too overwhelming. 

Take movement, for example: “Let’s say I’m on the other side of the house. Instead of asking my fiance to get me something, I take my body for a walk. It’s a choice to get a little bit more blood flow,” she says. “I swear it motivates me.” 

Plus, movement breaks throughout the day have huge benefits. “Take your organs for a walk, take your body for a walk, and get blood flow. It’s so important for your mental health. It reduces your stress. It’s just good to think of it that way. And when you have that intention, you just look at these habits differently.”

Set strong boundaries with yourself

Sometimes the biggest thing getting in our way is ourselves. Rather than do the things we know make us feel our best long term, we opt for immediate gratification. 

“Life is always about choices. If you think about what you know on the inside—what you know is going to make you happier—then you’ll pursue it,” she says. 

Want more habit-forming tips? Tune in. 

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