The Importance of Habits for Health
Hello and Welcome 2021!!
It’s a new year and a time to “reset” or start over from the events of the prior year. Depending on how you felt about 2020, you may be excited about putting last year behind you and starting fresh, or you may be feeling uncertain by 2021; overwhelmed moving into the New Year and sticking with New Year’s Resolutions, and curious (maybe fearful), if you will stick to them and see your resolutions through.
My name is Kristin King. I am a Mindset Wellness Coach as well as the owner of CB South Fitness. My husband Andy and I moved here in 2016 and we have 2 little boys (1 and 6) and a fluffy, lovable, 100-pound Alaskan malamute, Athena.
In this blog post I’m going to challenge to you think differently, and to take an active step toward creating the changes you want for yourself, in order to create the best version of you and live your best life. So please, get out your journal and commit to spending just a couple minutes in reflection as you read through the experiment and steps outlined below.
WHY, New Year’s Resolutions?
As we know, this is the time of year when most everyone is setting resolutions, which many times are directly related to better health and wellness. The thing that most of us also experience with our new year’s resolutions is that they typically last 2-4 weeks and then are forgotten when something comes up in our life that distracts us. We find one excuse for not doing the thing, and then another, and then another. Pretty soon we feel so much guilt and shame around letting our healthy resolution slide that we throw our hands up and think, “What’s the point! It was never going to last anyway!” Can anyone else here relate? I can think of many of my own resolutions in prior years that by February 1st were a thing of the past. At least until getting into this work as a coach…
Today I want to share 2 ways that you can implement and stick with your habits for heath that will create long-term change in your life and in how you feel.
Habits for Health - Part I
I would say that for the last 13 or so years since I have entered into the world of personal development, I have been fascinated by habits. I knew how important they were, but like most everyone else had a very hard time sticking with them.
Here’s a new way of looking at it. Do not set New Year’s Resolutions. Make them a thing of your past. The reason? Well, for most of us it’s disappointment waiting to happen, and they create guilt and shame when we compromise doing them and don’t follow through, leaving us with the impression that we don’t know how to change, we’re not capable of change, or that we lack motivation needed to make the resolution stick.
HOW TO ENSURE 12 NEW HABITS FOR HEALTH THIS YEAR
What habits for health would you like to add into your life right now? What are they? I want for you to list them out on a piece of paper or in your journal, right now while reading this. Let’s get really clear on exactly what we’re talking about so that we can assess.
Look at the list, is it 2 to 4 things, is it 12 things? The number doesn’t matter other than just getting an awareness of it.
Now, ask yourself the question, “What on this list can I implement into my life right now, that I know I can stick to?” “What can fit into my life that’s realistic, and that I am 100% committed to?” Pick one of your new habits for health. Just one. Start small for the first part of this exercise.
I recently did a Facebook LIVE on this topic in my private FB group, ONE Life, and the reason I suggest you start small and build up the new habits, is to prove to yourself that you can implement this new habit into your life, and stick to for an extended period of time. Do this one new habit for health for the rest of January, then add another habit in February, and so on each month. Each month that comes and goes means a new habit for health that you have become habituated to. When the brain becomes habituated, it goes into autopilot to do the thing that it’s used to doing. This is how the human brain is designed, and once something becomes a part of our daily routine, we will keep doing that new habit without giving it much thought.
After we establish what habits for health will become a part of our January, our February, our March, etc., then we can do the second half of this exercise.
Habits for Health – Part II
Now, that we have decided what habits for health we will add to our daily routine, I want to ask you another question “What unhealthy habits are happening now and are keeping you from being the best version of yourself?”
Please write on the bottom of your sheet of paper the habits you currently have that you do not like or prefer about yourself.
What things do you do, or what things happen fairly regularly that you do not like, or that keep you from performing at your best and highest self? Do you emotionally eat or overeat regularly, do you react to your kids and feel terrible after yelling at them, do you get annoyed with your significant other and then treat them in a way you regret later, do you drink every night, spend too much time on social media, not drink enough water, not get out to ski because of the same excuses (when that’s what you want/desire), etc.? There are probably several things that we do that we are not happy about or wish we were doing differently. And just as before, making the list and seeing it before you is revealing - we learn so much about ourselves in this process.
The Unhealthy Habit Exercise
The unhealthy habits list is going to be managed a little differently. Take a new piece of paper and draw a column down the middle. On the left write two or three of the unhealthy habits that you want to change sooner rather than later, and then on the right hand side write what you will do instead of that unhealthy habit.
If the unhealthy habit is not serving you or making you feel bad, that means some form of the opposite of the unhealthy habit is the thing you want to be doing. After some reflection please write that thing down. Articulate what you will do instead of emotionally eating, or instead of yelling at your kiddo when you get frustrated. Create a plan that works for you and will help you grow in this powerful process of transformation.
Living an Intentional Life
Become super intentional about what you will do instead of the unhealthy habit that’s not serving you at your highest level. Each month add another one or two unhealthy habits to your sheet with the two columns. Make a plan as to how to handle the new unhealthy habit (again, typically this is some form of the opposite of what you are currently doing, that you do not like) and then commit to changing it.
Take it Slow
This is a slow process, but over the months and years is completely transformative to feeling better and creating positive change in your life. Accept that personal growth is a slow process and that baby steps now will create big changes later.
I would discourage you from planning to conquer 10 habits for health [AK1] in one single month. Too many times we try to do too much at one time, and it can be overwhelming and discouraging when we don’t stay with it. The point of forming habits for health, that I teach my clients, is to start small and prove to yourself that you can do it with one or two new habits at a time, and then build your way up slowly.
I run a Facebook Group called ONE Life and would love any ladies here to jump on and check the group out! It’s a great community of women supporting one another, sharing thoughts, ideas, things they’ve learned, recipes, jokes, whatever. I have bi-weekly interviews with thought leaders in the personal development space who share free information on ways we can feel better and improve our lives, on many wonderful topics. It’s a supportive community if you would like to find us!
Create the Change You Desire
If you are reading this blog I hope that you will take the next step to creating the change that you desire. You can absolutely do it, and I have shared some simple ways to get going now and to have some fun and success with it.
I am honored to be a part of the Gunnison Valley Women’s Networking Group, and to have connected with some of you at some of the events. If you are interested in learning about the powerful Mindset Methodology that I teach, or in working with a Mindset Wellness Coach, or have an interest in joining us at CB South Fitness, please reach out anytime! My contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org // email@example.com // or ONE Life FB Group.
Live Powerfully - this year and always.