The new year's arrival is an opportunity for many to implement specific resolutions and fulfill some personal and professional promises. Because the New Year gives us the feeling of a new beginning, we consider it much easier to achieve the things proposed on this occasion. We have a greater motivation to bring everything to a successful end.
Staying healthy and fit for as long as possible is probably one of the goals that many want to accomplish. And probably so do you. A healthy lifestyle depends mainly on your daily habits. These are the little habits that ensure a neat style of living, some of which are already among your daily activities, and others you can adopt naturally, without much effort.
Here’s a list of healthy habits that you should consider adding to your life throughout the year 2022. You don't have to do all of these, but feel free to review this list and find the ones that might work best for you.
Let’s see how creating healthy habits can improve your well-being.
What are healthy habits?
A healthy habit is defined as a behavior that is beneficial to one's physical or mental health, often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control. Adopting new, healthier habits may improve the quality of life over time and protect you from serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, stroke, or heart attacks.
How long does it take to create a habit?
According to a 2009 study, it can take 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. The same research concluded that, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. It’s important to know that healthy habits can (and should!) be created in stages. It’s better to set small goals and take baby steps. For example, imagine you have this habit of watching TV for two hours before going to bed. Limiting to just one hour each night is making progress towards the healthy habit of not watching TV at all before sleep.
Good habits to have
The habits listed below are a great starting point for anyone looking to better themselves.
Write things down
A study done at the Dominican University in California shows that you’re almost 70% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down and sharing them with your family or friends.
Writing things down makes them real and sends signals to your brain that you are serious about making it happen. As soon as you realize your goals and write them down, your mind will immediately set to work to find out what to do and how to overcome the obstacles you are likely to face.
When you know precisely your goal, the time frame for it to happen, and your plan for getting started, there’s no more guesswork - you become more focused and start making progress.
Also, making lists can have a calming effect on your mind because it helps you get an overview of what you have to do. Whether it's a to-do list, a shopping list, or a list of ideas on how you want to redecorate your home, it can all come to mind as you do something completely different.
Make schedules and deadlines
It's almost impossible to remember all the things you need to do. That’s why you need a system to help you with this, where you can see exactly the deadlines. Therefore, it’s better to keep a calendar to manage your time efficiently. Writing down and scheduling the most important things you have to do will help you not to waste precious time trying to remember when or where to go.
Scheduling time for things like exercise, housework, cooking, and leisure may seem like a little fun at first, but once you get used to it, it's a great way to get an overview of your week. Planning helps you manage your time wisely so that you can maximize your "rewards".
Procrastination consists in deliberately postponing the start or completion of an activity or making an important decision in any field (professional, school, personal). It’s generally perceived as a harmful habit, which most would like to change.
Every time you procrastinate on your goals and tasks, the negative attitude towards them is strengthened. With each postponement, the temptation to avoid becomes greater than the desire for action, and the habit of procrastination becomes stronger. By default, you avoid gaining new knowledge and skills, and you fears increase throughout this time. The vicious circle that you continue to feed with each delaying can be broken by active involvement, as soon as possible, in the action.
Here’s how you can combat procrastination:
1. Be aware - in the first stage, you need to realize that postponing things has become a habit.
2. Identify the real factors that make you give up on several important activities.
3. Split a complex task into smaller, achievable tasks and start with the easiest and/or most enjoyable. This way, you make sure that at least one part of the task is done.
4. Eliminate any sources of disturbance that may cause you to prolong the start of your activity. (TV, social networking, etc.)
5. Plan to work 5 minutes on an activity that you would be tempted to postpone, and after every 5 minutes, take a break and do something else.
6. Learn to evaluate correctly the time needed to complete an activity. Underestimating the duration can be an impediment to meeting a deadline.
7. Don’t punish yourself every time you realize that you have postponed something, but instead offer yourself rewards when you manage to complete small parts of what you set out to do.
Decluttering can make you happy by improving your mental health and your overall physical health. According to the 2019 National Cleaning Survey, 36% of Americans feel more accomplished after cleaning their homes. Decluttering can also help you sleep better at night, boost mood, ease anxiety, and improve productivity.
Healthy habits to do everyday
Adopting just a few healthy daily habits can make all the difference in the world.
Start a morning routine
A healthy morning routine can be considered the key to success and the secret ingredient of a productive day. This helps you feel less tired and stressed and more organized and ready for a new day. Here are 10 steps you can take to building the perfect morning routine:
1. Maintain a fixed bedtime and waking time.
2. Don’t hit snooze.
3. Put off checking your phone.
5. Drink water.
6. Exercise or stretch.
7. Eat something within an hour of waking up.
8. Eat a healthy breakfast.
9. Make a to-do list.
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Keep your environment clean
Just as our actions and choices affect the environment, the health of the Planet influences our own personal health and wellbeing. Therefore, it’s important to keep it clean by following a few easy steps that start from your home:
1. Try to reduce the usage of your electrical appliances
2. Recycle the waste products.
3. Grow your food locally.
4. Dispose of biodegradable as well as non-biodegradable wastes properly.
5. Reduce usage of chemicals and pesticides.
6. Drive your car less.
Keep only what you need
“Do I really need it?”, “When was the last time I used it?”, “Does it bring me joy?”. These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before getting rid of a thing. If you can’t remember or the answer is no, you can sell, donate, or throw it away. It's not about getting rid of all your possessions or having as little things as possible, but about keeping only what you need and surrounding yourself with what makes you happy and adds value to your life.
Creating new healthy habits is not that hard. Maintaining them can be difficult, but not impossible. You just have to choose an activity that fits well with who you are and how you live, reward yourself every time you form a new habit, be patient, and focus on one healthy habit at a time.