Hello 2022! We made it through the first week alive. The last 2 years have been a doozy. With COVID restricting travel and community engagements…and – for some – causing an involuntary lifestyle change, we all have slipped into a few unhealthy habits. You possibly have gained that COVID 50 from day drinking and all-day grazing, wasting money buying clothes to go nowhere, or staying inside to avoid the crazies. Habits, good or bad, are a just settled and regular tendency of a particular practice. It’s up to you to decide to spend your time and energy on healthy habits over unhealthy ones. Here are a few tips to promote healthier habits:
- Log your habits. Knowing your habits can help you see what patterns you naturally have and focus on the healthy ones over the not-so-healthy ones.
- Make a plan. Once you identify what habits you’re pretty proud of. Create a realistic, actionable plan to fine-tune that habit into your way of life.
- Stay on track. Getting started may be the easy part, but staying consistent and on track could be challenging. Markdown or find a way to measure your progress to keep your focus.
- Think about the future. Know you why! Why in the heck do you want to foster this habit and have it part of your lifestyle. Is it to have more structure in your life, nurture a healthier family, or be an example to your kids? Only you know what drives you to your ideal future self.
- Be Patient! Discipline is about choosing what you want most over what you want now. Don’t be hard on yourself. If you slip up or forget, it’s not the end of the world. Start where you are right now and continue to build towards where you want to be.
A good habit we all have, brushing your teeth, is an example of a healthy practice you can build on. If you don’t brush your teeth, you have more significant problems. Having a night routine can be very relaxing and gives your body a sign that it’s time for bed. As a bonus, brushing at night reduces your chance of getting cavities and late sneaking. Pick a time you brush your teeth every night, then stack other habits along with it. After flossing and brushing my teeth at night, I do my whole face-washing routine with lotions, potions, and rose quartz massages. Then hop in the bed to read a book, a real one made of paper. Blue lights from electronics can trick your brain into wanting to stay awake. When I first started this last year, I would be up for hours reading. Now my body knows when I start flossing my teeth, it is time to shut the house down, and I fall asleep within 10-15 minutes. Falling asleep faster has allowed me to wake up early, be well-rested, and have the opportunity to fit an hour of working out during the workweek. What could you change to move towards the life you want and deserve?
Building a healthier habit has nothing to do with willpower. Willpower is about restraining yourself from something. Adulting is already hard. You don’t need to add something else you can’t do. Think of nurturing healthy habits as adding value to your life. You’ll be too busy adding value; you won’t even miss the energy drainers. You do not have an unlimited source of energy. Use it wisely.