Habits are the basis of your success and maybe your downfall. Yet despite the importance of habits, few people know much about how they work.
Habits are often thought of negatively, such as a drug habit or a gambling habit. But there can be good habits, such as exercising regularly, making thoughtful comments, meditating and starting projects long before deadlines.
A habit is something we do regularly without consciously thinking much about it. It is an automatic mental and behavioural activity. Habits make it possible for us to do things without spending much mental effort. They make everyday life possible.
Many people try desperately to break bad habits. Dieting is the most well-known example: it is an attempt to break the habit of eating too much or eating the wrong sort of food. A lot of the time we are performing these bad habits without even realising it, they become so ingrained in us. For example checking Facebook or Instagram and procrastinating from our most important tasks.
If we take this approach to good habits we want to introduce in our lives and commit to spending enough time on each habit to make it a regular occurrence over time you will replace these existing habits which are negatively impacting mind and body with habits that fill you with energy.
3 key take away tips when building habits
· Pick 2 new habits max a week and no more.
· Always choose your most important areas of change first.
· Commit to the change for at least 21 days to make it a habit.
See the list below of examples of healthy habits to get you started.
· Take the stairs instead of lifts or escalators. Take any opportunity to add in a couple of minutes of extra activity it all adds up.
· Move every hour. Sitting for long periods of time is not what humans are meant to do – set an alarm if you have to, but get up and move around every hour even if its just to fill up your water.
· Walk more. There are so many ways to add extra steps to your day, Get off your bus or train a stop early and walk the last part of your commute.
· Incorporate exercise on purpose into your routine, planned exercise is vital to good health. Aim to do whatever you can to start, with a goal of a minimum of 20-30 minutes every day.
· Start Resistance Training. Start slow and try some bodyweight resistance exercises in your booklet, the full benefits of resistance training are listed in the booklet.
· Write down your exercise goal and Increase the intensity of your workouts slowly.
· Pay attention to how you feel while exercising this is a key habit when exercising. Push yourself to the point where it’s tough, but something you look forward to each day.
· Eat that first meal within 30 minutes of waking up to avoid over eating through the day and boost energy for the day ahead.
· Drink a glass of water before each meal to help you eat the correct portion sizes.
· Replace something white (starch, processed foods) with something green, orange, red or brown (vegetables, protein, lentils) at every meal.
· Plan your meals ahead of time.
· Pack from home if possible what you need to eat for each day if food is not provided on site.
· Pack a healthy snack for the drive home from work.
· Shop from the outskirts of the supermarket, avoiding processed foods.
· Access your shopping trolley and ask how much food is processed?
· Go for whole foods over processed whenever you can. The fewer ingredients, the better, when it comes to anything in a package.
· Drink water all through the day. Carry a refillable bottle with you and remember if your urine is pale yellow, you’re probably adequately hydrated.
· Eat Fats they keep you feeling full. Don’t eat fat-free everything. Nuts, avocados, healthy oils, dairy and fish can all be great sources of fat in your diet. Omega-3s, found in fats help prevent cardiovascular disease.
· Read food labels. Get familiar with sneaky labelling, you can find tips in your booklet.
· Cook more. Cooking at home is healthier, since you’re in control of what you put in your food and how it’s prepared find tasty recipes in your booklet.
· Eat mindfully. Chew your food 20 times per mouthful and enjoy it.
· Limit your alcohol consumption. If you’re a drinker, keep a log of all the alcohol you drink in a week and if you think it is impacting some healthy habits aim to cut down a few units per week.
· Don’t skip meals. It messes up your blood sugar. Try to plan whenever you can with snacks.
Mindset and Recovery
· Set goals and work towards attaining them. Sometimes it’s the working towards the goals where the magic happens, and habits are built.
· Use to-do lists. Taking time to map out your priorities and what you need to get done gives you a sense of control.
· Watch less TV. Pick what you really want to watch and make a pact to turn the TV off at other times, don’t mindlessly watch TV.
· Try meditation think of it as taking a few minutes to yourself to just breathe and unplug from everything around you.
· Exercise your Brain, read books, do crosswords or other brain games.
· Sleep better. If you’re not waking feeling rested, try going to bed 5 minutes earlier every night, until you get to the magic number of hours of sleep for you. Try dropping the phone an hour before going to sleep to help your body feel ready for bed.
· Totally Switch off occasionally. Leave your phone behind and from time to time try break complete reliance on technology.