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How to Take the First Steps Towards Healthier Habits

It’s probably fair to say that we would all like to display healthier, more productive habits in our daily lives. But between work, kids, romance, cleaning, cooking, more work, personal hygiene, exercise, and trying to find time to relax, who can possibly hold themselves accountable?

Unfortunately, if we don’t find the time to start taking care of ourselves now, we might be limiting the amount of time we have in the future to enjoy our lives. Health should be a number one priority for individuals of all ages, yet the idea of a healthy life may be almost incomprehensible for many of us.

After all, what does it mean to be “healthy”? What does health look like? If my body isn’t giving me any immediate signs of trouble, doesn’t that mean I’m okay? Or maybe you recognize certain areas of your health that could use improvement. Perhaps you’re trying to lose that extra five pounds from last year’s holiday season, or maybe you’ve noticed that your joints ache for a hot yoga session a little more frequently than usual.

Regardless of where you’re starting, now is the time to begin building better habits for a longer, healthier future.

Make a List

The first step toward building healthier habits is eliminating the not-so-healthy ones—either slowly and marginally or entirely. The first step toward eliminating bad habits is to recognize them. Find an old notebook or journal that you haven’t used in a while, dust off the cover, and start to take stock of the habits that may not be serving you. Have you been indulging in ice cream more frequently? Do you seem to order a side of fries on your way home from work almost without noticing? Are you putting off that daily walk due to weather or other excuses?

Try to take a week to track your habits each day. In time, you may begin to notice a pattern of stress right before a bad habit takes place. We often turn toward creature comforts after dealing with stressful situations or confrontations.

Plan it Out

Almost everything in life can be made easier with a well-thought-out course of action. Make a plan for healthier habits and stick to it. Start planning weekly meals and scheduled times for exercise. Plan your preferred method for tackling health issues that may already exist: if you have existing conditions you’d like to address or even questions about creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself, talk to your doctor.

If you’re having difficulty motivating yourself to exercise, map it out. Decide exactly the route you’ll take for your walk or jog, and then follow the trail.

If you make a plan for yourself, you’re more likely to stick to it, rather than simply telling yourself that you’ll get to it.

Read this next: A Restorative Yoga Flow for Healing

The Buddy System

Get your friends, family, and loved ones involved and excited about your plan for a healthier life. While it may be easier to avoid the topic altogether, most people feel happier and better about themselves when they are actively working to take care of their minds, bodies, and spirits. You may receive a bit of push-back at first, but pretty soon the family outings and get-togethers will begin to take on a refreshingly healthy tone. Take the family out for a game of football in the park or make a family date night out of veggie fajitas and healthy taco salads that the fam can assemble together. If you find your own passion for health, it will be much easier to share that passion and excitement with others.

Utilize Technology

Your smartphone can be incredibly helpful on the journey towards healthier habits, and this is an excellent time to turn towards technology for a bit of assistance. Whether you use Android or iOS, there are many, many apps out there for tracking bad habits and creating better ones. There are apps that help you track your calories, footsteps, and even how many cups of coffee you have each day. Utilizing these apps will make the process not only easier, but it will give you more accurate data.

Read this next: 5 Best Apps to Help You Create New Habits

Focus on the Future

While being in the present moment is an artful skill, this is a great time to start thinking about the future and what you want for yourself. Do you want to remain limber and active into your 70s and 80s? Better start stretching now. No one knows what the future will hold for us, but we do know that bad habits can shorten our lifespan, while healthy habits can increase it. If you have any interest in a future of health, remind yourself of that now, especially at one in the morning when you really want to finish that pint of ice cream.

Healthy Habits for the Win!

While building healthy habits now doesn’t make any guarantees, it will help you feel better about yourself and your goals. Whether building healthy habits can drastically change your life is up to you, but why not give it a try? The one thing we do know is that building healthy habits now sets an example for yourself as well as those around you, who may be inspired to set new goals of their own.

Related Article: Wakey Wakey! Life Hacks to Becoming a Morning Person

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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