Feeling good (and looking good) doesn’t have to be hard or complicated - it's all about creating a healthy lifestyle that works for you. Results don’t happen overnight, so it's important to create daily/weekly habits to help you stay accountable and on top of your health and wellness goals. These are very small and easily achievable habits that add up and lead to bigger results.
Here are my top 5 habits that can help you stay on the right path:
20 MINUTES OF MOVEMENT A DAY
The hardest part with exercise is always getting started, so setting a small goal of 20 minutes of movement a day helps it become a less daunting task. For me, everyday looks a little different in terms of movement. I think it’s important to listen to your body and choose an activity that feels good in that moment. Are you feeling more tired and fatigued? Try some yoga or take a walk around the neighborhood. Are you having a lot of energy? Then opt for some running, strength training or do an online workout video. If once you finish your 20 minutes of movement and that's all you feel like doing, then that’s a win! And if after the 20 minutes you still have the energy to do more, then that's an added bonus!
PLAN OUT YOUR WEEKLY MEALS
Create a habit of planning out your meals for the upcoming week. This small weekly habit will help you stay accountable with eating healthy by allowing you to always know what's on the menu each night. We all know that home-cooked meals are better for us than eating out because it allows us to know exactly what's going into our foods (and the amount of oil and salt) and home-cooked meals also tend to contain less processed and refined foods. Knowing your meals for the week can also help you to create a solid grocery list which can help you save money, minimize food waste and save you from multiple trips to the grocery store. I have created a habit of planning out my weekly meals each Friday for the following week, then I do my grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday. I also like to have my meal plan posted on my fridge for easy reference throughout the week. If you need it, I have created a super simple meal plan calendar which is linked here.
PREP THE LONG COOKING PRODUCTS AHEAD OF TIME
Instead of spending hours in the kitchen cooking up multiple meals for the week and creating a ton of dishes, I find it helpful to just prep the items that require longer cooking times. When we are hungry, we want food ASAP, so this small habit can help reduce your daily cooking time and allow you to get a meal on the table in no time.
Here are some items that I like to prep ahead:
Grains (Rice, Quinoa, Farro, Millet, etc)
Protein of choice
So lets say a buddha bowl is on the menu for dinner tonight: my protein and roasted vegetables are already prepped so I just heat them up and assemble my dinner.
DAILY DIGITAL DETOX
Set a time each evening to unplug from the world; for me it's an 7:30PM cutoff. Disconnect from the TV, your computer, tablets and put your phone on “do not disturb”. We spend most of our days on auto-pilot, which means we spend very little time in the present moment. While technology has a lot of benefits, it can be so easy to get caught in mindless consumption. With social media in particular, we tend to compare our lives to those of others. One study has shown that one in three people felt worse and were more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook. So having a definite cut-off time can help reduce any feelings of jealousy and loneliness, and helps provide an opportunity to reconnect and focus on our own needs and desires. I personally like to use the end of my day to partake in some self care. I have created a list of self care activities linked here.
30 MINUTES TO CLEAN YOUR SPACE
For me, a tidy space is a calm and peaceful space, so I have found that setting aside 30 minutes each evening to focus on my space has really helped improve my life. When my space is clean and everything is in its place, I personally find that I have more clarity and am less distracted. Whether it's using this time to do the dishes, sort through daily clutter, or clean out your closet, taking just 30 minutes each day to tend to your space can provide much more than just a basket full of clean clothes. I find it helpful to set a timer for 30 minutes and just wander around my house and tend to my space. Turn on some good music or listen to a podcast and the 30 minutes will be over before you know it!
So these are 5 of my healthy habits that I believe can help improve your life. Schedule these habits into your day or week and see if they benefit your life like they have mine. Again, these are small habits and tasks that can produce big results over time. I would love to know what some of your healthy habits are so please leave them in the comments section below!