In Healthy Living, Wellness

Building healthy habits is hard. Most of us know the basics of healthy living: get plenty of sleep, drink more water, eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, decrease stress and so on. Maintaining bad habits is likely one of the key things holding you back from your goals. However, it's virtually impossible to break old habits without replacing them with something better.  The trick is to make those new habits feel effortless. 

get out your day planner

When it comes to rewiring the brain, context matters. The most important part of taking a healthy habit from impossible to undemanding is making it part of your daily routine. You can't just attempt to do it every day, you need to actually schedule it in at the exact same time on a daily basis.  

For example, I recently had a baby and knew that I had to dramatically increase my water intake to successfully breastfeed. So, I established three set times throughout the day in which I fill my water bottle and focus on emptying it over the next half hour or so. After just a couple of weeks the habit feels natural. 

start small

Not all habits will form that quickly. Generally speaking, the more challenging the task the longer it takes to become habitual. Start by penciling in small changes. Drink  glass of water before every meal. Read a mentally stimulating book for 15 minutes before your bedtime routine. Empty the dishwasher as soon as you get up in the morning. Whatever goals you have, think of ways to work toward those in small increments. You'll be surprised by how quickly you can improve your daily productivity and make these new changes feel like a normal part of your life. 

give yourself credit

Negative or punishing thoughts will never help you reach your goals. Give yourself credit for every small success and grace for every failure. Being kind to yourself is a path to success that you can maintain for the long-term. Build habits that feel good and modify goals to work for your schedule. If you want to lose weight, but love sugar then honor that feeling and enjoy something small, such as dark chocolate or extra fruit. 

Habits of wellness and productivity shouldn't make you feel miserable, but rather they should be empowering. When you feel empowered and confident then you realize that building a healthy life is what you deserve rather than something to dread. 

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