Don’t Make a Healthy Resolution. Build a Habit: Here’s How.
Posted on January 17, 2022
Category: Healthy Habits
Let’s face it, it’s hard to meet people’s expectations. That’s because we all have a different idea of what we want. By that sentiment, you’d think living up to our own would be easier, right? Wrong. It can be just as – if not, more challenging.
This is never more apparent around the new year. When January rolls around so do new expectations under the clever guise of the “New Year’s resolution.” We don’t always know it, but when we take one on, we also take on the pressure of living up to our own expectations – which can be unhealthy in certain cases.
Human beings usually have a hard time jumping right into new rituals – which can often result in relapses into old habits or just giving up. We need time to process change in our routine.
This new year, let’s break the habit of unfulfilled resolutions and create healthy habits that will give you the power to be your best self.
How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle
Perhaps the only thing harder than trying something new is deciding what to try. Make a list of things or “resolutions” you have, then whittle the list down to only a few that you find vital. It’s important to not overload yourself with goals – doing this can lead to frustration, discouragement, and anxiety.
Perhaps your goals are to read more or to get better at conversations, or maybe it’s classics like working out and healthier eating. No matter what, self-improvement begins with a choice, but it’s how we handle our choice that defines the path to how we get there.
Developing Healthy Sleep Habits
Let’s say that one of your goals is to start getting better sleep. The MD Anderson Center recommends a few habits you can develop to start getting better sleep including:
- Set a consistent sleep schedule – Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
- Create regular bedtime rituals – Do the same things every night before bed, like a bath, read, or listen to music. Your pre-sleep activity should be relaxing so that your body can cue in that it’s bedtime.
- Limit your caffeine and nicotine intake – These are both stimulants that interfere with sleep. Regular users can experience withdrawal symptoms at night which leads to restless sleep.
- If you nap, keep it short – During the day, you build a ‘sleep debt’ that helps you fall asleep at night. Naps during the day pay it off, interfering with your night sleep. Keep naps under 30 minutes.
The Center also highlights that maintaining a healthy diet can contribute to good sleep. Full meals before bed can call for restless sleep, and it’s recommended that a light snack before bed can help you sleep.
But eating right can also be a difficult train to catch. Don’t worry, we’ve got a ticket for you right here.
Dig Into Healthy Eating Habits
A good way to get started on your health journey is by taking stock of what foods you have in your home. Maybe you need more vegetables to snack on instead of high calorie foods like chips and soda.
Nutrition experts have said, “Not all calories are created equal.” A handful of almonds versus the same number of calories in potato chips have different, significant effects on your body. You don’t have to get rid of chips all together in your home, but you can start introducing them to new friends like carrots, broccoli, and other healthy foods that’ll take space on your shelf.
Drinking more water, increasing your protein intake, taking vitamins, and giving your food time to settle all play major factors in improving your diet. In fact, according to Healthline, it takes 20 minutes for your body to realize it’s full, so, when eating, remember to take it slow.
If you don’t get a chance to eat vegetables or exercise every day, it’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow is another day to start again.
Overall, taking the steps to eat right will help improve your mental health and get you further on the path of living a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy Habits Are Yours to Hone
If you had to make a resolution, might we recommend, “I won’t set my expectations for myself too high.” Turn those towering resolutions into manageable habits. Go from, “living a healthy lifestyle” to “eating a vegetable a day” and let it grow from there. Deciding to change your lifestyle is a difficult choice, by making it you’ve already gotten through the hardest part. Now, your next big step it to take it one day at a time.