Monday, May 4, 2015

5 Steps for Creating Healthy Habits

It can be so difficult to get out of your comfort zone, right? But, in knowing that starting a new healthy habit can benefit you in so many ways, it really is worth the effort to try! Just because old habits are hard to quit shouldn't be a reason to give up all together. According to Deepak Chopra, M.D., there are 5 steps to getting closer to creating and keeping your healthy habits....

1) Set Goals by Baselining Your Health
  • Start out by setting goals based on things you already know about your body and general exercise/food habits. It's best to be open minded and not worried about what the outcome will be. In taking a look at the big picture -- knowing the benefits of what a healthy food/exercise routine can create in your life -- it gives hope of finally becoming successful with your overall wellness goals. 
2) Set Priorities
  • Know yourself -- start out by knowing what your weaknesses/strengths are so you can get a better idea of how to approach setting your priorities. It's good to know if you are a morning or evening person, are you crankier in the morning or are you wide-eyed and ready to go. 
  • If knowing that having a bag of potato chips in the house -- even if you "hide it from yourself" -- will cause you to break down and just eat the whole bag, don't have those chips in the house at all.
3) Identify Harmful Patterns
  • Its important to know what bad habits you already have ingrained in your daily life. Bad habits may not be completely obvious either, as an example, knowing that you are sleeping 6 hours a night is not good. If you want to be most productive, sleeping that extra hour or two is only a benefit.
4) Make Steady Changes
  • In making small steady changes, progress is made. Start out with 3 days of no meat or 3 days of limiting your bread intake to 1 slice as an example. Once you've mastered the small steps, you could move on to bigger ones.
  • Awareness is important. Becoming aware of the small steps makes it easier to transition to the bigger ones.
5) Reinforce Good Decisions
  • If starting out on a wellness or exercise program seems daunting, just take it one day at a time and enjoy the small victories along the way. In assessing how you feel after eating well as opposed to eating junk food, good progress can be made.
  • According to a 2009 study from London, it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit.

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