Five Tips for Creating Healthy Habits and Reaching Your Goals
There’s an expectation in today’s society that we’re supposed to do more, have more, and be more. We tend to idolize those who are massive multitaskers, or who are very successful at the cost of being workaholics. In reality, even those in high places still value walking the dog or a cuddle from the cat. Granted, there are some who do not have a healthy routine, however successful people tend to have successful habits. Diet and exercise are healthy habits you hear about most – yes, it’s important to take care of yourself first – but there are other habits that can help you grow and reach your goals.
Have a Morning Routine
Just as Olympians warm up before their event, and musicians practice on stage before the show, you need a morning routine to start the day. Your body works hard all night while you sleep, so even though you are resting, you wake up in a deficit of the energy and nutrients needed to crush the day. A morning routine not only energizes us but jumpstarts our brains and fuels us for the day. A successful morning routine consists of healthy habits like a nutritious breakfast, some alone time to prepare and reflect, a workout, and even simple tasks like making the bed.
Wear the Hats that Fit
Let’s admit it. You’ve probably never seen a high school principal who’s also the full-time janitor. Or a commercial airline pilot who also distributes peanuts mid-flight. The fact is, it’s important to know your strengths and stick to them – in both your personal and professional life. Successful people do not wear too many hats. They focus their energy on what they’re good at and they stay in their own lane. Yes, sometimes it takes a while to figure out what our talents and passions are, but over time being able to say “no” will lead us down the path to success.
Think about it, is it a healthy habit to commit 40 percent to one task, 15 to another, 10 to something else, and the rest to work or family? No. It would be way less stressful and yield much more if your focus was narrowed down to what’s truly important.
Limit Social Media
It’s easy to use but it’s not easy to quit. Social media, and our phones in general, are a force to be reckoned with… sucking our attention away from the things that are important. Next time you pick up your phone and start mindlessly scrolling, as yourself what else you could be doing and how much better you’d feel if you didn’t “waste” all that time on your phone.
Of course, some of us spend time on our phones for work. If that’s the case, limit phone hours to business hours. Let the off hours be for exercise, family time, journaling, or whatever it is that fills your cup. Set times during the day that are “no phone” timeframes, like at the dinner table or after 8pm for example. Turning off push notifications will also reduce the urge to pick up your phone and respond. Even simply putting the phone in a drawer while working or when you get home from work can help reduce the urge. Perhaps even go on a social media break. Delete the apps from your phone and notice how much more you can accomplish, or how much better you feel both mentally and physically when the break is over.
Prioritize What Matters
This is a tough one, especially for those with a busy job, kids, sports, and the list goes on. Maybe you want to prioritize, but everything seems like it’s number one on the list and you have trouble deciding what matters most. Our first tip of advice is to define what’s urgent versus what’s important. At work, for example, it might be easier to focus on getting some of those important little tasks done before tackling the big, urgent task. While checking off a lot of little items from the list appears to be productive, you’re just stalling on the tasks that need to be prioritized first.
When it comes to self-care and caring for a family, it’s most definitely challenging to decide what comes first. While it seems selfish, we fully believe that if you take care of yourself first, you’ll be able to better take care of others. Maybe that means waking up earlier to workout, or skipping lunch with friends so that you can go to the gym. Perhaps it means you even brown-bag your healthy lunch versus indulging in the catered office meal. It’s also SO important to ask your partner for help. Split the duties up so that each of you has time to focus on yourself. And, please, please, don’t sit and binge watch Netflix all night if you do have urgent tasks that need attention. Yes, you deserve to rest, but ask yourself, is TV time really a restful, healthy habit?
Reflect and Grow
We’ve talked about journaling before and we’ll do it again. This is a healthy habit that often gets overlooked. Did you know that journaling reduces stress, improves cognitive functioning, and can even strengthen the immune system? Not only that, but it allows for self-reflection, which is so important for moving forward toward your goals.
One little problem though – you’ve tried and can’t keep up with it? Or it’s just not for you? Don’t sweat it! Journaling comes in many forms, even doodles or writing down some prompts and reminders for yourself at the end of the day is considered journaling. The one thing that is not journaling, however, is a calendar. So, set a reminder to write in your journal, or keep a small one in your purse or car – pull it out when you have an important thought – or simply write in it once a week. There are no rules here, just a chance to reflect, plan, and grow.
So there you have it – five tips for creating healthier habits in your life. And, a lot of these are not too difficult to achieve! We aren’t telling you to make big changes or workout every day. No, we are challenging you to change your routine just slightly. Put the phone down, prioritize, reflect, have a healthy morning routine, and put your efforts into the things you’re good at or want to work on. Start with one of these habits and, when it becomes routine, add another. We believe in you – you got this!
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