New Habits

With the new year, most people are looking to better themselves in some way.  Lose weight, eat better, cook at home more, get into yoga or just start exercising.  There is a good way to start such endeavors.  It’s called creating new habits.  We do things because they are familiar to us or an easy non thinking path we take over and over that we don’t question it.

Example:  That routine morning drive through at Starbucks to get a vanilla latte.  It becomes such a habit we don’t even have to think about it, we just do it, it’s comfortable.  One thing I do with my clients is get them to stretch a little and start creating new comfortable habits.  If Starbucks is a habit that you just don’t want to give up but you want to cut down on the sugar you drink, then one day a week grab a tea instead of a latte.  Do this for a few weeks and then bump up to two days a week.  Continue until it becomes easier to do.   Or ask how many pumps of sugar they put into your favorite drink.  Ask them to put one less pump.  Stick to that for a week or two and then have them cut it down 2 pumps.  Continue to do this until you have just a latte with no added sugar.  This is what I did to get off my vanilla latte habit.  Now my comfort drink is a green tea from Starbucks.  It can be done.  Believe me, I was a sugar addict and if I can do it, I know others can too, and have seen many of my clients be successful in doing this.

What if you are just looking to be more healthy, where do you start?  How about do one healthy thing a day.  Just one.

Example:  Drink one more glass of water a day, or substitute a glass of water over a soda each day.  Maybe for you it is to eat one type of green vegetable a day.  So for lunch you have a salad or for dinner you have some sauteed spinach with your meal.   Maybe you skip breakfast on a regular basis and you want to start making time for breakfast, set your alarm a few minutes earlier and start with a smoothie every morning.  Drink it in the car on the way to work.

Or maybe, planning your meals is something you really need to work on.  Get yourself a fun menu planner to encourage yourself to use it.  Try this link  for free downloads for meal planning.   Or try out the pinterest menu planners  They have many to choose from!

Committing to one healthy habit a day is doable.  It makes you feel good and you benefit from doing it.  Then when it gets easy to do, bump it up to two healthy habits a day.  Continue adding healthy habits and soon you will crowd out the bad habits!  And you will be on your way to your goal to health!