It is often said that we are creatures of habit. This may be true, although habits can change if you are motivated enough. This means that you are not forever trapped; trapped in bad behavior that has allowed you to continue for years contaminated with mistakes, failures and previous setbacks.
You have the power to create the life you want to live, including learning to develop new healthy habits.
“First forget inspiration, Habits is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you are inspired or not.” Octavia Butler.
As Charles Duhigg explains in his book the power of habits:
“There is nothing in our brains that shows us a box of cakes and wants sweet sugar automatically. But as soon as our brain knows that the cake box contains delicious sugar and other carbohydrates, it begins to expect high levels of sugar. Our minds will push us to the box. If we don’t eat donuts, we will be disappointed.”
We know that making healthy choices can help us feel better and live longer. Maybe you tried to eat better, sleep better, exercise, reduce stress or quit smoking.
It is not a piece of cake, but a study shows how you can improve the ability to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Despite knowing the benefits of having healthy habits, it is really hard to develop and maintain them. Nowadays our daily lives are so busy that it’s hard to keep up with healthy habits. One of the reasons you might be failing at developing healthy habits is because you want to change too much too soon.
You want to start Yoga, exercise, a healthy food diet, etc all together. Start with one step at a time.
Develop just ONE healthy habit that will make you proud.
For example: Drinking more water throughout the day. Stop eating red meat for a week. Go up the stairs, not the elevator. If you are not in your ideal weight, walk 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the time.
Put down the fork in the middle of the meal, take a deep breath and ask if you are still hungry. When you work in an office, set a rule to always stand or walk while talking on the phone. Over time, small steps will create a new physiological change in every cell in the body.
How one healthy habit can help in maintaining your mental and physical health.
Improves Your Mood – Consider this, if you develop a habit of going for a walk in the morning, it will have endless benefits for your physical as well as mental health. Physical movement raises your endorphin level, which makes you feel less stressed and happy.
Taking care of your physical health can lead to many benefits. It can increase your life span, prevent numerous diseases, etc.
You will inspire others to do the same.
Remember Dr. House used to say, “Monkey See, Monkey Do!”. By developing a healthy habit of let’s say increasing your water intake can encourage your partner or your coworker to do the same. Not only you developed a healthy habit yourself but also inspired your fellow to do the same.
Now you both can help each other in maintaining that habit.
Gives you a sense of accomplishment
You had a bunch of tasks that you had to do in a day, and you managed to accomplish all of them. How good does that feel? Similarly, when you manage to take a walk in the morning or had 8 glasses of water in the day, it will give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel proud of yourself.
You will be able to relax and even sleep better.
Teaches you self-discipline
It’s one of the most important skills if you want to live a better life. It is like a superpower. Once you master self-discipline, developing a healthier lifestyle, eating healthier, etc. all will become a piece of cake.
Developing a single habit can improve your self-discipline. If you develop a habit of going for a walk in the morning, then you will convince yourself to get up no matter how comfy the bed might be. Same goes if you want to have that extra donut but you know you shouldn’t have it as it will mess up your calorie intake for the day. Self-discipline will prevent you from having that donut.
Track your positive changes with an activity or food journal. Keep in mind that it may take some time for the results to appear, and it does not matter.
If losing weight is your primary goal, focus on behaviors that will help you get there, rather than on measures. It is important to celebrate your daily results, big or small. Over time, you will benefit from a healthier lifestyle.