It’s only natural to feel overwhelmed by too many options. These days, there’s so much information out there regarding health, it’s hard to know who (or what) to trust. It can all be very intimidating (it is for me). To cope, I’ve been reading articles and books on developing healthy habits. I’m sometimes guilty of favoring my own worldview (aren’t we all), but that doesn’t stop me from trying to incorporate positive change.
If I come across something that resonates with me, I’ll implement it without over analyzing. If it starts to work, I’ll stick with it. And if I hit my stride, there’s really no need to keep searching. As the old saying goes, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” I tend to get overwhelmed when I feel the need to improve on an idea that already generates results.
On the opposite end, I also become overwhelmed when I’m not patient enough to give a treatment (or an idea, or a method) enough time to work. Rapid change is extremely stressful to most people (myself included). When making a commitment to a new protocol (or healthy habit, or whatever), it’s best to trust the process all the way through.
Developing Healthy Habits:
A recurring theme in my studies is structure and organization. These two ideas may be the key to developing healthy habits. We try to hold on to structure and organization as long as we can, but it gets harder as life takes its toll. This is because we get caught up in what we HAVE to do and forget what we NEED to do to maintain ourselves.
A good way to build structure is to “Figure Out Your WHY.” For instance, ask yourself WHY you care about your health? Is it because you want to travel the world into your senior years? Is it because you want to watch your children and/or grandchildren grow up? Maybe it’s because you want to spend more time on the golf course. Or simply because you want to keep pace in your work environment.
These are all very real issues. And figuring out your WHY could play a huge role in reaching your goals. Once you figure out your WHY, structure and organization can balance your life. Developing healthy habits becomes a real possibility as you stick to the plan.
Write It Down:
Writing down a list of actions gives my life structure. These are similar to core values, but require specific/immediate attention. My list of actions contain habits I strive to cultivate in my daily life. I refer to my list during down time so I know how to be productive.
- Exercise – I strive for three or four trips to the gym per week. As a result, physical strength turns into mental strength. For instance, if I can blow through a minute of mountain climbers, I know I can get through stressful scenarios at work.
- Eating Healthy – My performance starts to suffer when I don’t eat enough protein and healthy fats. When this happens, I rely more on caffeine to get me through the day.
- Reading & Writing – This cultivates my love of learning. It’s a way for me to pick up on new ideas and it’s exercise for my mind.
- Sleep – I shoot for seven to eight hours each night. As a result, my social life takes a small hit. But on the road to developing healthy habits, a few sacrifices may be necessary.
Simply put, if I’m exercising, eating healthy, reading, writing, and/or sleeping, I’m taking a proactive measure to develop healthy habits and to reach my future goals.
Put It Together:
Remember habits are nothing more than the things we do on a regular basis that eventually become automatic. Sometimes it’s a good idea to trick yourself into developing healthy habits. The following are a few simple hacks I use to get the job done:
- Sign Up (for your workout) – I’ll use my husband for example. He signs up for his workouts through ClassPass. If he cancels within twelve hours of the class, he’ll be charged an extra $15. With the recent ClassPass price hikes, best believe he’s doing his best to avoid extra charges.
- Use a Caffeine Boost – It’s been suggested that Caffeine can actually boost athletic performance. If you buy into this theory (which I do), and you take a large enough dose, chances are you’ll want to get active instead of sitting around.
- Plan Ahead – With my busy schedule, I have to get moving pretty early in the morning. To give myself enough time, I prep some foods at night so they’ll be ready for me when I wake up.
- Pre-Planned Meals – Programs like SunBasket and HelloFresh send everything you need to cook healthy meals at home. These options save a bunch of time and make for a rather fun experience in the kitchen.
- Perfect a Sleep Routine – I typically start to wind down an hour before sleep. My ritual includes some herbal tea, a good book, and occasionally some Natural Calm Magnesium. For the knockout blow, you can use a spray of melatonin.
Now it is your turn. Even if you start with just one new health habit, you’ll start to see progress over time. If you adhere to structure and stay organized, the results you want are in SIGHT.
You’ve got this!