Creating good, healthy habits and sticking to them doesn’t come easy! Sometimes it takes a little bit of creativity to help cement them in place…
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Let’s face it, healthy habits are some of the hardest habits to form and stick to. Period. Cutting out sugar just isn’t as fun and carefree as eating a big slice of chocolate cake on a whim; and watching reruns of Arrested Development is way more enticing than dragging yourself to the gym at sparrow’s fart. It is far easier to accidentally adopt a bad habit than it is to purposely build and maintain a good one.
If we want to invest in our mind and body and form good habits, we have to make the effort. Over the years, I have started being more conscious about what I am putting in my body, doing to my body, swirling around in my mind and projecting on other people. I am most definitely not at saint level yet, but I have adopted some fantastic habits that are helping to keep me in check and make me feel more grounded.
I won’t say it has been incredibly easy to stick to these habits, but I did find some novel ways to help me do so. If you are in need of some extra motivation to kick those bad habits, perhaps my methods will give you some inspiration!
GOOD HABIT: Going to the gym 3-4 times per week
~ Start paying for a membership by the number of classes you attend per week, rather than a minimal flat weekly fee. If you are paying around $15.00 per class for 3 classes per week, you will want to make the most of every last dollar you spend with your gym. Skip a class and that is $15.00 you just watched go down the gurgler. There is no better motivator than a financial motivator!
~ Pick classes that are actually fun. I happily turn up to a handstand class because I enjoy it and the people in it; but I will make every single excuse to skip a 5km run. Make exercise something fun and enjoyable and you will be more inclined to stick to it.
~ Start going to the gym early in the morning. If you get it ticked off your to-do list first thing in the morning, you won’t make excuses to skip it later in the day. It may take some getting used to waking up early, but it is worth it if it means you fit in your gym session. Handy tip: lay out your gym gear the night before so all you have to do is roll out of bed, get changed and get to class! It also helps having fun new activewear to test out too!
GOOD HABIT: Drinking 2.5L or more of water per day
Now I told you I had some weird and wonderful ways of sticking to my habits, and this is definitely one of them!
I carry a drink bottle with me everywhere, and when I go to have a drink, I always count 10 big mouthfuls. Even if I only needed a sip of water, I make sure I get through 10 mouthfuls before I put the bottle back down. Be strict on yourself and you will find yourself getting through more water than you thought you could.
I also set myself a rule that I have to get through one bottle by 10.00am, another by 3.00pm and another before bed time. Any extra is just a bonus! I can easily get through 3-4 750ml bottles per day now.
It also helps to shop around for the right water bottle. It sounds odd, but having the right water bottle has changed the amount of water I drink dramatically. Before I had My Contigo water bottle, I was drinking a dismal amount of water each day. The thick straw and wide mouth piece allows me to suck up a decent amount of water with ease; and it makes drinking those 10 mouthfuls a piece of cake!
GOOD HABIT: Practicing gratitude
My journalling journey has been spoken about a fair bit of late and that is because I can’t get enough of it!
At the end of each day just before bed, I sit down and recap on the day. I make a point of writing out one thing I learned that day, and something that I am grateful for in every entry. Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be a mammoth effort; all it takes is a few minutes at the end of your day and a moment of reflection. Just being aware of all the little things that you are grateful for helps you to be more aware of them in every day life; and that makes for a happier mind.
GOOD HABIT: Waking up early
I am forced into this habit during the week by way of work outs.
But even on the days I am not going to the gym, I wake up between 5.30am and 6.30am. By now, my body clock has become accustomed to the early rises and does all the hard work for me. In the beginning, I would force myself in to the habit of waking early by leaving my blinds open and letting the early morning light come flooding in. It is far easier to wake up and feel alert when it is light in the room; as opposed to trying to convince yourself that getting up in the dark is a good option!
What weird and wonderful methods do you adopt to stick to your good habits?