Developing habits is part of everyone’s life journey. Most often, habits are the good kind that keep us healthy and happy, like brushing our teeth or enjoying our favorite weekly shows. But habits can also develop over our lifetime that are less than healthy. Sometimes we shift into autopilot and overeat, or smoke, or drink too much alcohol. So, how do we break the bad habits?
According to James Clear, author of Transform Your Habits, we can break bad habits most effectively by replacing them with good habits. He suggests a three-step process to start your new habits.
- Reminder. What you will use to regularly trigger the start of your new habit.
- Routine. Performing the actual habit itself.
- Reward. The progress that will keep you coming back to this habit, whether it’s weight loss, staying sober, or improving your health
If you’re looking to rewrite your roadmap with habits that will lead to a healthier and happier life, here are some important habits you’ll want to consider.
Eat More Nutrient Dense Food
Instead of responding to your body’s craving for junk foods, focus on eating foods that are more rich with nutrients. Salmon, shellfish, and liver are among the most healthy proteins you can eat, as each delivers a powerful set of nutrients including potassium, vitamin C, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, and iron. You’ll also want to add potatoes, egg yolks, blueberries, garlic and kale. All of these foods are in the top 10 list of nutrient rich foods. Once you start replacing poor food choices with good choices, research suggests your cravings will diminish.
Develop A Fitness Routine
Most people get started with exercise only when they’re looking to lose a few extra pounds for vacation or a special event. Instead there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that regular fitness can be pretty beneficial to your health, both mind and body. Most significantly, if you’re dealing with a bad habit like addiction, a regular fitness routine is scientifically linked to improved recovery outcomes. Just as your keep a work schedule or a schedule for your children, schedule time daily for fitness. And be sure to start small, if you overdo it, chances are you’ll give up on it.
Stop Ignoring Sleep Problems
If you’ve done everything you can to practice good sleep hygiene and you still can’t sleep, you shouldn’t ignore the problem. Poor sleep leads to poor physical health and mental health. If you’re experiencing any of the following make sure to see a doctor: You consistently have trouble falling asleep; you wake yourself snoring; you always rely on sleeping aids; you can’t fall asleep; or you’re tired after a good night’s rest.
Learn the Art Of Mindfulness
Gone are the days when meditation was just a thing for hippies waving peace signs. Instead, mindfulness centers are cropping up around the country as meditation becomes one of the latest wellness craze. Aside from it’s popularity, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to give up one of those extra TV show habits for a half hour or hour of meditating. Meditating is proven to improve your concentration, make you more self-aware, boost your immune system, reduce stress, decrease heart disease and even slow the aging process.
Commune With Mother Nature
There’s a reason spending time in the great outdoors makes you feel better and it isn’t just fresh air and sunshine; it’s trees! Forest bathing, or spending time among the trees, has been proven to improve health. It will, lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress, improve your mood, help you focus better, increase your energy level, improve your sleep and recover from illness and surgery quicker. Consider purchasing a portable hammock so you can spend some relaxing, downtime in a nearby forest or park.
Everyone’s life journey comes with some detours and roadblocks, it’s how you manage those setbacks that determine your future. Start today to by replacing your old habits with these new habits. Each one is guaranteed to make your life both healthier and happier. You’re the driver, and it’s you’re roadmap … enjoy the journey!