I need to make some changes for my health and longevity, I know it. And the thought of doing such a major overhaul of my life is so daunting I can't even get started. Sound familiar?
Not all of us can handle the "New Year, New You" type of dramatic change in our lives or in our bodies. We want to make healthier choices and build good habits but we know it's not going to last if we try to do it all over night. Enter a new path for a year of changing gracefully.
This method of creating lasting change came from my sweet older cousin and is similar to Habit Stacking but throughout the year. Here's the premise: focus on one habit at a time, when that one's pretty solid add another.
This is how I am making it work for my life and goals this year:
Pick an area you want to focus on for the year. My hubby and I are focused on our health this year. Our big goal is to get away from processed foods as much as possible and building a year-round garden to facilitate that change.
Pick one habit to add to your life for every month. It's a well known fact that it takes a month of focus to build a new habit. And it's more effective to not worry about stopping a bad habit, but by building healthy ones the unhealthy ones will fall away naturally. Here's a few of mine to get you started:
January: Drink more water! This also means drink less coffee and alcohol but by focusing on adding water my desire for these will diminish.
February: Daily Stretches! Stretching is so important for the overall health of our body and systems. Building a 5-10 minute morning and evening routine of stretches is such a great way to build a healthy body.
March: Move More! The days are getting longer and we need to start preparing our garden for seedlings so more movement will happen on it's own a bit. This is where my FitBit or tracker comes in handy to help me measure and maintain a minimum number of steps, active minutes, and weekly workouts to help me reach my goal. Also, this is where I really benefit from having the habits of drinking more water and stretching daily because without that in place this extra level of activity might be really hard on my body.
It may seem overwhelming all laid out in one glance, however, by focusing on only one additional habit a month it's easy to achieve results and maintain them. Let me know what your new habits are going to be and how it's working for you!