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Building new healthy habits is by no means easy. Establishing a new routine practice in your life takes dedication, patience and probably even a few failed attempts.

“There’s no auto-pilot for life,” explains Jared Heathman, M.D., a Texas-based psychiatrist. “Despite the best of intentions, creating large daily healthy habits is incredibly difficult. Very few people can schedule a trip to the gym every day and maintain a perfect diet.”

For this reason, he — and nearly every other wellness expert we’ve consulted — emphasized the importance of making small, gradual changes that can be progressively implemented into your day-to-day life. This type of strategy is most effective because instead of trying to overhaul everything all at once, which for most is overwhelming and unsustainable — leading to frustration and ultimately failure, it allows you to adopt new habits at a an easy pace and that you’ll be more likely to maintain long-term.

This might not sound exciting, and maybe it even seems tedious, but the best part of embracing new healthy habits this way is that even the simplest practices —like those we’re about to share — can lead to big improvements in your overall well-being. Here’s a look at 16 essential healthy habits that a wide range of health experts recommend adding to your routine.