Creating Healthy Habits From New Year’s Resolutions

Creating Healthy Habits From New Year’s Resolutions
January 5, 2012 Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

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Creating healthy habits from your New Year’s resolutions is an important part of getting the results you want long-term. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, so if you focus your attention on one goal for January you should be set. Then in February you can move on to your next goal.

I mentioned last week that I like to do some cardio exercise first thing in the morning. Since it’s been about -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F) around here lately, and there’s lots of ice on the sidewalks, I haven’t been too keen to run outside.

There’s a cardio machine in the exercise room in the basement, and I haven’t seen anyone else down there in the mornings all winter.

The last few mornings though, there’s been someone else using the machine. I tried going earlier, and then later to get my turn in.

I found myself wondering if this was a New Year’s resolution for getting more exercise, and then wondering if she’ll stick with it or if I’ll stop seeing her after a few weeks.

That got me thinking about what it takes to turn a goal into a habit. For a long time, Phil and I would pick a new habit to work on every month. We haven’t done that in a while, but my train of thought this morning led me to set a goal for myself for January.

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It’s to put my full effort into what I’m doing. The regular daily things I won’t worry about, but for the things that matter I want to put myself fully out there.

If you’re looking for some ideas for goals and creating healthy habits, I have three really basic but hugely important ones. You might read them and think, ‘Oh yeah, I know that! It’s too easy.’

But the simplicity is what makes it work – if you focus all of your attention on one of these simple things for a whole month, it’ll become a habit and you’d be surprised at how much of an effect any of them can have on your health, energy and mood.

Drink more water. Aim for 2L per day, and try to spread it out during the day. Chugging a liter before lunch and dinner doesn’t have nearly the positive impact that a glass several times throughout the day can have.

Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit. Have as much as you like, and a good portion of it raw or just lightly steamed. They’re made up mainly of water, fiber, vitamins and minerals – you can’t get much better than that!

Get active. Getting activity throughout your day, in addition to regular exercise, is so important to an overall healthy lifestyle. You can eat a perfectly healthy diet, but if you’re not active you’ll never be as healthy as you could be.

Have you made any goals for the New Year? Let me know below.

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