Getting a Jump on Healthy Habits
Each year, the New Year brings about conversations of resolutions and setting new goals. It is a time to start fresh, and adopt the ‘new year, new me’ mentality. However, studies suggest that two-thirds of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within a month. Here at N4L, we support the notion of creating long-term goals that promote a long, healthy life. While the New Year can be a great time to set some resolutions, now is the time to begin creating healthy habits to support those goals!
At N4L, we highlight the importance of living a life that follows the pillars of longevity. Centenarians from all six longevity regions are the proof that living a life that promotes longevity works. Centenarians were not necessarily born into longevity, but follow a lifestyle that has led them to live a long and healthy life. The major keys to success of the centenarians are quite simple: exercise daily, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, and take time to focus on your mental health by managing stress with mindful activities, social events, and spending time with friends and family. Though we may not have the time to devote our entire day to longevity, there are opportunities within every day to get a jump on healthy habits.
Forming Healthy Habits
Each individual forms habits differently. Some may find it easier to form certain habits than others. So, how do we form healthy habits and break unhealthy habits? There are a few ways to keep on track and wire our brains to do this.
Addressing your current habits
Habits can be as simple as brushing your teeth in the morning or watching television when you are eating. It is important to understand which habits are leading you closer to your longevity goals and which are deterring you from these goals. For example, if snacking on low nutrient dense foods such as potato chips is an unconscious habit of yours, try swapping them out for crisp sliced vegetables or seasonal root vegetable chips with a homemade hummus and see how your energy levels flourish.
Planning & Goal Setting
Planning and setting goals are a great way to stay on track and form healthy habits. It may be beneficial to plan out what you will be eating for your meals and when they will be eaten to make time for other activities, such as getting exercise, socializing, or meditating. Setting a goal to eat one fruit and vegetable with each meal can drive the planning process as it provides an outline for your recipes.
Try planning a few meals for the upcoming week and observe how this healthy habit positively affects your productivity throughout the week.
Nobody is perfect. Sometimes we plan to accomplish things, then completely forget about our task due to schedule mishaps or busy days. To avoid simple mistakes when trying to form new habits, write your reminder on a post it note or create reminders on your phone or mobile device to remind yourself of certain things you want to get done.
Find your passion
Forming new habits is not always easy, especially if it is something out of your comfort zone. If you are forcing yourself to commit to a lifestyle change that is not enjoyable, you likely will not develop this habit long term. Do not force yourself to an activity just because it has worked for others. Instead, try new activities and find what motivates you. Maybe lifting weights is not your cup of tea. Taking a daily walk at your local park might be. It doesn’t hurt to try new things, but never settle for something that does not ignite passion.
Now is the time to get a jump on healthy habits. It is never too late to change your life in a positive way, big or small. At N4L, we are here to help motivate you and provide guidance and resources to form healthy habits and live a life of longevity. Our N4L REAL Transformation program, meal kits, and abundance of newsletters and recipe blogs are created to help you on your road to success.
Always remember that it is perfectly okay to take a day off or take some time to do what feels best. At the end of the day, you must motivate yourself to get back on track after straying away from your progress. Remember to stay kind to yourself and celebrate the little things. You are doing great!