Some of us begin every New Year by formulating resolutions that we desire to achieve to better ourselves. However, research shows that only approximately 8% of people manage to stick to their resolutions past the first few weeks of the year.
Forming bad habits is easy. Retaining them is even easier because they have the ability to become a part of your life and stick to your daily routine for the long run. These bad habits include: unhealthy eating, smoking, excessive drinking or even lack of exercise.
It is good to want to drop unhealthy habits and form resolutions to improve. However, the best way to achieve a healthier, happier life is by making small changes in our day to day lives. The saving grace is that forming good habits can be just as easy with a little determination. Once you include them into your daily routine, it will become easier to stick to more healthy habits.
Below are ten easy, healthy habits you can start right away:
1. Set goals
Setting goals, whether for your health, personal or professional life is an important first step in taking control of your life. It is impossible to commit to healthy living if you have not identified what you would like to achieve through it. Define what you would like to achieve and then figure out the steps you will need to take to get there. Start small and work up to achieving larger goals as you accomplish more.
2. Tackle one bad habit at a time
Trying to tackle all your bad habits at once can get overwhelming, and that is why most people give up their new year’s resolutions so quickly. Thus, the best way to deal with a bad habit is by replacing it with a good one. Think about how you would like to improve your life and what behavior is blocking you from doing so. For example, you want to be healthier, but you smoke too much; try nicotine patches, electronic cigarettes or just quitting cold turkey. Once you have overcome that, move on to the next item on your list.
3. Start every morning with a glass of lemon water
Experts recommend that you drink warm lemon water on an empty stomach as soon as you wake up in the morning. This is because Lemons are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that help you with weight control and keep you feeling fresh and energized throughout the day.
4. Increase your level of physical activity
Consciously purpose to move more in your day to day life. You can do this through exercise, but it has to be purposefully synced with your daily routine to ensure that you remain consistent with it. You can start with committing at least 10 minutes to exercise each day and steadily increase that as you become more fit.
There are a hundred other ways you can do this, but the easiest ones include:
- Taking the stairs more. Granted, using lifts or escalators may be more convenient but it is not as good for those who want to increase their physical activity.
- Increasing the amount of walking that you do. You can do this by allotting a certain number of minutes per day for walking.
- Start lifting heavier weights to challenge yourself. Make sure you have a good weight training shoes when you do this to ensure you are safe and well supported.
- Ensure you do active stretching all through the day to keep your muscles supple and toned.
5. Eat Healthy
The first step in healthy eating is maintaining a balanced diet. Various foods contain different nutrients that your body needs. Further, eating a balanced diet will help your body regulate weight, improve energy and fight diseases.
Whenever you can, buy whole foods instead of processed products. Make sure there are vegetables in all your meals. Try to eat as much fruit as possible to maximize the number of antioxidants and micro-nutrients you ingest. Stock up on healthy fat options such as avocado, various nuts, and dairy.
To have this much control over your diet, you will need to cook more at home. This will mean you will have to plan your meals; you can do this by preparing a weekly meal plan. This will even assist you while doing your grocery shopping and help you save costs in the long run.
6. Keep hydrated
Water is the body’s transportation system helping in circulating nutrients throughout the body. It is essential for the skin to do its work in regulating body temperature. Water also keeps the skin smooth and supple. Sufficient water is also critical to numerous other bodily functions.
Experts recommend that you should drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day. A great way to ensure you meet this goal is by carrying your refillable water bottle to keep track of your water consumption. A good way to judge if you are drinking enough or not is the ‘pee test’ your urine should be pale yellow to show you are well hydrated.
7. Sleep more
Professionals advise that we should be sleeping at least seven to nine hours every night. Sleeping well helps to improve your breathing, mood and energy levels; ensuring you are more productive during the day.
8. De-clutter your life
This means cleaning out your home and workspace of everything you don’t really need. A well organized and clutter free environment is critical to your overall health. Hang on to whatever has functional or sentimental value, but dispose of the rest of the things that you don’t need.
9. Make time for yourself
Often, life gets so hectic we allow ourselves to be lost in our schedules. Sometimes it is necessary to unplug and just focus on ourselves. This is not selfish, but a deliberate way for you to preserve your mental well being. Get time to do things you love, like listening to your favorite music, reading good books, or indulging in your hobbies.
Also, make time to socialize and meet with friends. This is a good way to de-stress. If you do not like your job, start making plans to find one you will enjoy more. The goal is to reduce stress in all areas of your life to become a happier you.
10. Pay attention to your mental health too
The mind and body are intricately linked; the state of one ultimately affects the other. As you work to improve your physical fitness, you should not forget the state of your mind. Meditate, pray or read inspiring books to ensure your mental wellbeing. Also, cultivate a culture of gratitude, and let go of old anger and resentments to eanjoy genuine contentment.
Changing habits is not an easy thing. However, the benefits of incorporating good habits into your lifestyle are worth it to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
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