We talked about how diet’s don’t work in Part 1. In Part 2 we touched on setting up systems for success instead of focusing on goals. In this post I want to go over 5 ideas for healthy habits to help move you toward creating a healthy lifestyle!
What are healthy habits?
“Habit” – defined
1. A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.
2. An established disposition of the mind or character.
A habit is something we do that’s incorporated so deeply into our lives it basically is part of our identity. You don’t think about brushing your teeth each day right? It’s just part of who you are. Similarly, if you’re a non smoker you don’t think about picking up a cigarette regularly. Why? Because you identify yourself as someone who doesn’t smoke.
My goal is to help you start to think of yourself as a ‘healthy person’ through developing healthy habits that eventually become part of your identity.
3 Ideas for Healthy Habits
Here are some suggestions of healthy habits you can adopt to start to create a healthy lifestyle.
1. Eliminate One Unhealthy Food Item (alt: Addition Through Subtraction)
Go to your pantry and find one item that you know is bad calorie choice you continue to make. I’m not saying “eliminate sugar in your life” or “never eat a carb”, I’m just suggesting to eliminate one single thing that you know is hurting your progress and probably makes you feel guilty about eating. Don’t go crazy, just pick one.
Maybe it’s the daily bowl of ice cream? Perhaps a sugar-soda or some other calorie dense drink? Maybe it’s alcohol (if you look at just the calories alone from alcohol much less the other issues this can cause, perhaps there’s multiple reasons to quit here).
Whatever it is, just pick one item for now. Chose to give it away, throw it away or just promise to stop indulging in it. Everybody can find one single thing! Nailed the first habit on the way to our 3 healthy habits!
2. Set a Bed Time
You will see huge improvements in your mindset if you put your phone down at the same time every evening and then get to bed at the same time every nite. Make bedtime a priority as if it were an important appointment you just can’t be late for.
Check out my blog Resolve to Get More Sleep where I describe sleep is so important and how to help you get more. The issue is that we all know sleep is important but we feel too busy with “more to do” before we can go to bed – I’m guilty too. But the fact is if you prioritize your sleep as a healthy habit in your life and respect an appropriate bed time, you will find ways to get done what needs to get done during the day so you can keep your commitment to yourself. Were you late for the meeting with your CEO? Were you late to your child’s graduation? We know how to get somewhere on time when it’s important. Sleep is important! Two healthy habits down, one to go!
3. Take a Daily Walk
healthy habits can start with a good walk
Chose a time in your day when it would be convenient to take a 5-minute walk. It could be a time when you’re already outside such as when you arrive at work or drop your child off at practice. It could be a time when you have your sneakers on like when you arrived back from an errand. Set a timer, walk 5 minutes and be done. It doesn’t have to be more than that. Even a 5 minute walk per day is a great habit. Some days you may decide to walk even longer if you have time.
For the walk examples above, this is known as “habit stacking.” When you take an existing habit (like going on an errand, dropping a child off at practice, showing up for work) and stack a second habit on the end of it, that’s habit stacking. Now the healthy habits are associated with one another and it becomes easy to do them together.
It’s easy to read about what is the ‘Right Way’ to do things. It’s funny to hear ‘Simply Do X’ knowing how incredibly hard that may be (ok, maybe it’s not very funny when you are struggling). But you can do hard things. How do I know this? Because we have all done hard things. In fact, if you’ve read this far I believe you’re interested in transforming your life starting today!
Be the change you want to see. Take that 1% step forward. Remove temptations and set up your system for success. Keep your focus on your habits and it will be impossible not to achieve your goals.
One more thing – studies show that if you share your goals with those that you feel are already accomplishing or have accomplished where you are trying to get to, you will be more likely to succeed. By sharing our desires with someone who we trust and is already making healthy choices, we are more apt to continue to move in this direction. In other words, don’t pick someone who hates exercise and won’t do it to share your goals with – pick someone who’s already doing what you want to be doing.
Consider signing up for my Group Exercise classes or my upcoming Transformation Challenge if you think this will help you on the path to success. If you feel you aren’t ready for group things, consider individual training/coaching. Do whatever you need to take these first steps. 1% doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up to big gains both physically and mentally.
I’m here and ready to help you. You got this. Now let’s get to it and create some HEALTHY HABITS!