I would like to share with you four healthy habits to adopt in the New Year.
The New Year brings with it vibrant energy and an opportunity to establish fresh habits and a new outlook on life.
Many people start the New Year by making big resolutions, but they forget that it’s the small things that you do every day that have the biggest impact in your life.
Your daily actions make you who you are. Robert Kyosaki once said, “Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow”. Positive habits are a great way to nurture your mind, body and soul.
They allow you to continually grow and improve yourself so that we you can achieve life mastery. You may be wondering – “What is a habit?” According to Dr. Clayton Cook, a professor at the University of Minnesota, “Within the field of psychology, habits refer to behaviors that are provoked somewhat automatically in response to cues embedded in the environment”.
The reason why so many people have a hard time maintaining positive habits is because habits form out of repetition. Most people initially engage in a behavior to form a healthy habit, but don’t repeat it enough to form the habit. Here are four healthy habits to adopt in New Year:
Healthy Habit #1 – Wake Up Slowly
We have been conditioned to jump out of bed, immediately look at our emails, drink coffee, and rush off to work. When you start the day wrong, it effects your mood and nothing flows smoothly. Does this sound like your daily routine? If so, it's time to change your habits.
Marcus Aurelius once said, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love”. Slow down and take time each morning to appreciate and show gratitude for yourself and your life.
Start your day with hot water and lemon, take 5 minutes to meditate, write in your journal, or do some breathing exercises. The mind is a powerful thing. You need to condition it every day for optimal success.
Healthy Habit #2 – Sit Less, Move More
When you think of a New Years resolution, sitting less is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. We all know how important it is to exercise, but even more important is sitting less.
New research shows that simply sitting, without much standing or light physical activity, may have negative effects on our biochemistry, whether we’ve exercised or not. The average adult is sitting or sedentary for about 9.5 or 10 hours a day.
Dr. James Levine is credited with coining the mantra, “Sitting is the new smoking”. In his book, Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, his research shows that today’s chair-based world has negative consequences on our health, and is a leading cause of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
After reading his book I was inspired to purchase a LifeSpan Treadmill Desk, which has radically shifted my energy levels throughout the day.
If you work from home, this is a great way to get exercise, while making money on your business. Any excuse that you can find throughout your day to stand, walk, dance, stretch or jump, do it. It’s a great habit to adopt, and its good for your health.
Healthy Habit #3 – Get Unplugged
Do you have a 24/7 technology habit? If so, you’re not alone. Our hyper-connected lives mean that we are available at any time and place. The result? We are more disconnected than ever before. Albert Einstein made a good prediction when he said, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”.
In a study of 1,600 managers and professionals, Leslie Perlow, a professor of leadership at the Harvard Business School, found that:
- 70 percent said they check their smartphone within an hour of getting up.
- 56 percent check their phone within an hour of going to sleep.
- 44 percent said they would experience “a great deal of anxiety” if they lost their phone and couldn't replace it for a week.
Disconnecting from technology is a hard habit to break, but it is a luxury. Get unplugged. You will thank me for it. Not only does it allow you to be more present with yourself, but it also strengthens the connections with your work colleagues, partners and family members.
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, people aren't addicted to smartphones themselves as much as they are addicted to “checking habits” that develop with phone use, including repeatedly checking for news updates, emails, or social media connections.
Silence your phone before bed. Read a book instead. Give your brain and your eyes a chance to rest.
Healthy Habit #4 – Sleep More
We all know how it feels when we don’t get enough sleep – we wake up feeling groggy and grumpy. Lack of sleep impairs your ability to pay attention and retain new information, resulting in a lack of productivity and concentration. Extensive research has been done on the effects of sleep, showing that it is critical for healthy brain functioning, emotional wellbeing, and quality of life. Therefore, it is vital that you make it a top priority.
If you are someone that struggles to get 7-8 hours of sleep, try building sleeping habits into your bedtime routine. Avoid stimulants, meditate, put away your phone or your computer, or make an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun author, Gretchen Rubin, writes about the importance of having a bedtime ritual, which can pave the way for an optimal experience the next day.
Studies have shown that it takes, on average, 66 days to form a new habit. Self-care is so important. Start today, challenge yourself, and watch your life transform for the better.
Do you want to learn how to create daily healthy habits? CLICK HERE to purchase my Morning Ritual Mastery course.