I bet you all changed your ways this year, just as you planned. Of course, you did! So, who had some healthy habit goals they wanted to achieve? Yep, me, I can put my hand up to that one. Also, note I wrote ‘wanted’. I wanted it but not enough as guess what? I did not achieve it. Or did I? You see, weight loss is not a new year resolution, it is a lifestyle change that fits into a bigger lifestyle health goal. A healthy core goal that may take more than one year to achieve. A health goal starts like other goals with changing habits by changing ways that will reward you in multiple ways.
What is a habit?
A habit is something that becomes natural to you. In that, you do it automatically as part of your life. Driving a car is something you do naturally; once you’ve learnt it, you do it without thinking. With eating food, eating healthy is something that, like driving a car, can become natural. It is just a matter of learning about food and nutrition and of course, taking action on what you learn.
Examples of healthy eating habit goals.
I’m not a nutritionist and would always recommend that anyone changing their diet or exercise speak with their health professionals. However, here are a few suggestions of some good healthy eating habits.
Reduce portion size. Over the years, many of the portion sizes have grown. Even plates have got larger. ‘Supersize me’ or ‘do you want fries with that? are two questions often asked when buying takeaway. Naturally, As you get older and spend less energy, fewer calories are needed. In general, weight loss or gain is the result of the difference between calories in and calories out.
Carry healthy snacks with you. Quite often, when out many people grab a quick snack, like a candy bar or bag of chips, especially if out mid-morning or mid-afternoon and their energy is feeling low. As convenient as going to the corner shop is to buy a treat, is it helping your end goal? To save money and help you progress towards your health goal, carrying a piece of fruit or handful of nuts to snack on would be a good start.
Drink more water. Throughout the day, as you quench your thirst, drink water and herbal teas instead of fizzy drinks and juice.
I used to enjoy a muffin or raisin toast for morning coffee when I was out. And, I am out many mornings at coffee time. I now enjoy coffee with a few almonds or sometimes just coffee. I discovered I was eating the morning snacks out of habit, not necessary. Eating the sugar morning treats was a bad habit I’ve stopped. With every coffee, I also drink a cup of water. I like to infuse my water with mint and lemon which I store in a beverage drink dispenser so I have it on tap throughout the day.
LEMON WATER WITH FRESH MINT RECIPE
Plan your meals in advance. Every Sunday, I have a planning session with myself. I plan the meals for the week. I plan the family evening meals and my breakfast and lunches. Not only is this great for writing out the shopping list which I write up on ‘wunderlist’, but, it also helps with tracking my daily food intake. And, of course, save unnecessary spending at the supermarket.
Creating good healthy habits that stick.
It is difficult to change and switch a bad habit for a good habit does not happen overnight. First, you must decide what habits need to change and what new behaviours you need to learn. A large goal can cause overwhelm, but when broken down into bite-size pieces, change becomes manageable.
One way to create a new healthy behaviour that sticks is to attach the new habit to a pattern in your life. For example, having your gym clothes in the car and driving straight to the gym after work. You are more likely to go to the gym if you have the gear with you that you need. If you were to go home, the relaxing feeling of being home may set in, and you may end up not exercising. In the long run, not exercising can impact your health and budget due to unexpected health expenses.
Naturally, it takes time for new behaviours to become habits. It may even take 3 months, and in that time, it is easy to slip a day or two as you settle into new routines. In reality, you and I would like to say ‘no way, not me’, but missing too many days can lead to the new behaviour not setting in. This is why tracking is a pathway to success.
Lifestyle, work-life balance and healthy habit goals.
Creating work-life balance includes creating healthy habit goals as health is one of the spheres of the wheel of life. You and I may choose different spokes on our wheel of life due to different values in our lives. Some work-life balance goals belong to these groups. Family, relationships, physical health, mental wellbeing, spiritual well-being, business and lifestyle. Is 2019 a year you are concentrating on getting more balance in your life? Discover the 5 strategies for work life balance that successful entrepreneurs do.
The best top 10 healthy habit goals to reenergize your life.
As an adult, the healthy recommended time for sleep is 7-8 hours a night. I know some people who get by on less and other friends who sleep longer. In their article ‘How much sleep do I need‘, The sleep Advisor say that an adult sleeps between 5-9 hours. Sleep is required as this is the time your body goes into repair mode. Hence without enough sleep, your health is affected; you can become sluggish, you may be more emotional, you may become less productive and it even affects you the next day. I’ve even heard that it can affect weight loss.
This article has a list of the effects of sleep deprivation.
If I am worried I often write in my journal. I find I worry less and sleep more once I’ve written down my concerns.
- Eat healthy food.
I think many people would have heard the food ratio mentioned. ‘Eat 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetable a day’. Once at a conference in about 2002 I heard the late Jim Rohn say something that stuck with me about eating vegetables daily. His saying was ‘5 is fine but 9 is divine’.”Don’t you just love sayings that help you remember things? I do”. All in all, if you do not eat 1 portion of vegetables now, 9 a day is a big stretch. Therefore, work within your health professional’s recommended boundaries.
Although exercise sounds tiring, it is, in fact, an energy booster. Exercise can also improve mood, help with sleep and control weight. Adding just 30 minutes a day can be a big health booster.
- Practise gratitude.
The power of gratitude cannot be underestimated. After all, looking at life with a glass-half-full approach can be very positive. Read more on how gratitude changes the attitude or how to develop a grateful heart.
- Never stop learning.
When you stop learning you stop growing. Jim Rohn said ‘Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.
- Spend less than you earn.
Easy said than done for the many who live paycheck to paycheck. Yet, spending less on what you earn is the key to building financial wealth. Wealth though can come in many forms; self as in human capital, relationships as in social capital, values as in cultural capital and financial capital. Consequently, all four types of wealth are part of living with a work-life balance.
Recently I shared a post on 4 reasons to start a journal. All I can say is I wish I had started journaling earlier. Listen to the clip in the post to hear why Oprah likes to journal.
Practice meditation or a form of silencing the mind and reflection. So much clarity can be gained in silence. “The product of silence is clarity”. Practice balancing life with mindfulness methods that work.
- Have meaningful relationships.
Being an introvert, I can easily spend a long time alone. However, I know the unhealthiness of loneliness and the importance of spending time with family and friends. Over the years, I have had friends in many countries. I’ve also felt alone and disconnected when in social environments. Fortunately, today it is so easy to stay connected with family and friends and make new friends who share the same values.
- Do what you love.
Ever have that life goal you want to do? Is it linked to something you are passionate about? Most likely, this is what you love. It may be work-related or a hobby, pass time or skill, either way, you find yourself drawn to it. The more you enjoy it, the more fulfilled you feel. Steve Jobs said, ‘If you haven’t found what you really love to do, keep looking“.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart you will know when you find it.”Steve Jobs
To create healthy habits in your life, first, decide on the goal. Next, take action every day. Plan for success by planning the step you will take into your daily routine and of course track. Tracking leads to success.
“The soul, like the body, accepts by practice whatever habit one wishes it to contact.”Socrates
Just one thing today.
The year may be close to an end, yet it is not too late to start one plan 2019 goals or even start a new goal. By the time New Year comes, you could be already be taking steps towards your bigger goal. Could you start just one thing today? Nothing big, something small. A small step towards a healthier and wealthier you.
Some of the healthy habit goals that I put into practice this year were, creating a morning routine, replacing sugary drinks with water, walking 10,00 steps most days, journaling, 15 minutes of meditation, exercising, starting a business blog, and reading a chapter of a book daily.
As can be seen all the above are actions. Just, small actions that over time compound to form the big picture.
It’s your turn. Set a healthy goal for yourself and today, do just one thing towards the goal. One small action. For example, read a page of a book, or walk for 10 minutes. Every day you take a small step toward your bigger goal, it becomes easier. Track for success and Start your future today.