Whether you want to face up to it or not, we are well into the first month of 2016. A new year can mean new goals, new hopes, new desires, new jobs, new friends…and most excitingly- new opportunities!
Hands up who verbalised a New Year’s Resolution while a little voice in our head quietly whispered, “yeah, right.” I think if we’re honest, we are all a little guilty of falling victim to the pressures of this tradition.
We all want to seem enthusiastic and motivated. We want to come across as health conscious, thoughtful, reasonable people (even if we still have the little devil sitting on our shoulder who has been there since we were 15 and at the cusp of rebellion).
As for setting yourself goals, which can begin at any stage and shouldn’t be reserved for the 1st of Jan, I think it is best to first get yourself into some good habits. No one expects you to go from surfing the internet to surfing Bell’s Beach, but if you can manage to train yourself to make good, healthy decisions on a daily basis, who knows what you can achieve!
According to Charles Duhigg in his thought-provoking book entitled “The Power of Habit,” over time, habits can eventually have an enormous impact on our health, productivity, finical security and happiness. So Let’s make sure our habits are positive, and benefit our health rather than deteriorate it!
Here is a list of 5 positive habits that you should incorporate into your daily routine:
- Carry around a water bottle: Did you know that 72% of our body is made up of water? Staying hydrated throughout the day is SO important for so many reasons. Signs such as dry eyes, low energy, dry skin and headaches indicate you may be dehydrated. If you work in an office, have your drink bottle sitting at your desk at all times. Uni student? Carry one around in your bag. Most cars have cup-holders and they can be used for drinks other than coffee you know!
- Park 15 minutes from work/school: Or if you take public transport, get off a few stops earlier! The extra walking that you’ll incorporate into your day all adds up! 15 mins to and from work is 30 minutes a day, times that by 5 days a week thats 2.5 hours of exercise!
- Always opt for the stairs as apposed to the escalator and tone that butt! Stair-climbing is a great cardio workout and will get your heart rate up which helps increase your fitness.
- Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate: Yes, Yes I know…It’s not the same. But if you positively CAN’T say no to your nightly piece of chocolate, replacing your usual Dairy Milk for some high quality dark chocolate will mean your tastebuds will eventually stop craving the sweetness that comes with the former. Believe me, it’s a lot harder to demolish a whole block of dark chocolate than it is milk chocolate. Plus, there are some healthy antioxidants from the cocoa.
- Buy full-fat, natural yoghurt instead of flavoured low-fat varieties: Not only does it taste a whole lot better, but there is less sugar than the sweet flavoured yoghurts. If you like some sweetness, add some frozen or fresh berries on top.
So there you have it, some simple ways to boost your health and set you on the right path to living your best life!
Here are some books that might be of interest if you wish to learn more about the power of our habits:
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
- The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
- Sticky Habits by Barrie Davenport
Article by Heidi Higgins
Heidi Higgins is a Melbournian with a passion for all things health and fitness. She is a primary school teacher, freelance writer and blogger who loves to keep active by practicing reformer pilates, taking boxing classes and going on long walks. Make sure you check out her blog, Heidi Joan, for inspiration to love a healthy, happy and whole life!