There is an old saying that it takes 21 days to develop a habit; though this may not be entirely accurate, there is no denying that conscious efforts this year to form healthy habits could induce immense change. The best part of beginning this journey is that it doesn't need to be overly complex; no one needs to feel pressured into trying extreme lifestyles when small steps matter just as much!
How are you doing with your new year habits? Here are some ideas if you are ready to move to a new habit and line up the habits you want to work on for the next few months or even a year!
- Eight hours of sleep every night.
The first habit one should incorporate into your life is making sleep a priority because it is often overlooked. Establishing healthy habits like going to bed at the same time every night (including weekends!), avoiding distractions before bedtime, and creating a calm atmosphere in your bedroom that encourages relaxation can help turn those eight hours into an achievable goal for anyone willing to commit to making it happen.
- Thirty minutes of fresh air and sunshine.
Having thirty minutes of fresh air and sunshine as a habit sounds like the perfect way to start your day. Whether it’s around dusk or dawn, taking a deep breath and walking around in the greater space can bring many benefits. It is healthy for the body and mind but can help increase focus, reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, and enhance creativity.
- Stretch your body.
Make stretching a part of your day. If you don’t have time for an entire 10-minute session every day, try incorporating mini-stretches into your existing routine. For example, when brushing your teeth in the morning or washing dishes after dinner, take 30 seconds to stretch while standing in place. Don’t worry about doing complicated yoga poses or training for a marathon—just take a few minutes each day to stretch out some basic areas like your arms, legs, back, neck, and shoulders. Even these brief moments of activity can make a big difference over time.
- Thirty minutes of exercise.
We’ve all heard it before. Exercise is good for you, but who has the time or energy to incorporate exercise into their daily routine? Adding a thirty-minute exercise routine can end up being one of the best habits you'll ever adopt: not only does regular physical activity reduce stress and improve physical health, but studies have shown that people who exercise feel more confident and have greater productivity throughout the day. Whether running around the block or taking an online yoga class, make thirty minutes of exercise an integral part of your routine.
- Three gratitudes every day.
Incorporating this practice offers wonderful benefits by allowing you to notice and appreciate even the smallest moments you would otherwise have taken for granted. Gratitude is a great way to shift our focus from negative to positive and remember the good things we experienced. Writing down three things you are thankful for can help create a positive mindset and foster contentment.
- Cook more meals at home.
Let’s face it, the convenience of takeout food can be hard to pass up. But if you want to eat healthily and save money, the best way to go is by cooking meals from home. Cooking at home doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. Start by deciding on a few good recipes that you know you can make. Take into consideration time constraints and dietary restrictions when deciding on your recipes. Once you have chosen your recipes, prepare a grocery list so that you can pick up all the ingredients in one trip. This will save time and ensure that nothing is forgotten!
- Half a plate of veggies at dinner.
Eating right and staying healthy can be hard. We know that fruits and veggies are essential to a balanced diet, but sometimes it’s hard to get the motivation to incorporate them into our meals. So why not make it a habit? Important to note that the half-plate method doesn't limit you from eating other delicious things like starches or proteins; it simply encourages you to focus on incorporating more vegetables into your meals. This means that a large portion of your meal comprises nutrient-dense foods that will help keep you full and energized throughout the day.
- Start your day with a glass of water.
Skip that double-shot latte. Instead, get your system up and running with this simple ritual - a glass of water to start your day. It is an easy and affordable place to start by kickstarting your day. This daily dose of hydration leaves you feeling re-energized and provides the following benefits: increased energy levels, improved digestion, more alertness, better skin health, and enhanced mental clarity.
- Walk or ride a bike instead of driving.
Consider trading in driving for walking or riding a bike! When you need to go places nearby, like grabbing groceries from the store or patrolling your neighborhood park, consider opting for one of these two instead. Not only are they a great way to get some exercise in, but you’ll also do your part in preserving the environment. Making small but sustainable changes like this adds up over time - so let’s get out there and start going the distance!
Habits aren’t always easy to keep up with, but with consistency and determination, you’re sure to be able to implement them into your routine and make 2023 your best year yet! They are beneficial because once they become second nature, it requires less effort to complete a task if done consciously. This helps keep us motivated as we don’t have to continuously remind ourselves of what needs to be done. Thus, the more habits you incorporate into your life, the fewer daily decisions you have to make, as tasks will already be accounted for in your schedule. This leaves more energy for bigger projects or activities that require more thought and creativity.