Healthy Habits for the New Year
Welcome to 2019! There’s a “clean slate” feeling to every New Year, a desire to toss aside that which has failed us in 2018 and prepare for everything anew. We make resolutions, we buy gym memberships… and then in February we realize that we have a pile of sporty clothes that haven’t been worn.
What are some good ways to build new habits so that we surprise ourselves in February? How can we make this the year that our new habits actually stick?
Change your surroundings
Your environment has as much effect on you as the food you put into your body. If your office is dark and depressing, you will likely feel dark and depressing thoughts. If your bedroom is cluttered, you will likely feel overwhelmed and anxious. Clean up your environment. Follow simple rules when you consider a belonging: Does this item bring me joy? (That’s from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a short little bestseller about decluttering and organization.) Have I worn this outfit in the last twelve months? Have I ever read this book? Do I ever plan to? Do I exercise enough. It might also be a good idea to make time for working out at work.
Check your diet
Speaking of food you put into your body being important, what are you eating? Your body is an engine that needs quality fuel, and if you fuel it with garbage, you will feel like garbage. Think of yourself like Rob Lowe in his career-defining role of Chris Traeger in Parks and Recreation: Your body is a microchip. Do not compromise the microchip.
Make small shifts
Don’t try to do everything at once. Make little changes to something less bad. If you can’t stop eating potato chips, try switching to a healthier brand with less trans fats. Then, switch to rice chips, or kale chips, or sweet potato chips. Tiny changes are easier than big changes, and if the shift is subtle, it won’t be as difficult.
As much as you don’t want to embarrass yourself, tell someone what you’re doing. Ask them to talk to you about it at periodic intervals. That way, you have to report your progress. It gives you more incentive to keep moving in a positive direction.
Perhaps a friend of yours is also trying to make a change, and you can be accountability partners. It’s much easier to change when someone else is in the trenches with you.
It’s hard to get started, but remember: Once you are in motion, it’s easier to stay in motion!