Shape Your Habits, Change Your Life
A Lifetime of Healthy Habits
Chances are your New Year’s Resolutions have been stashed away with the holiday decorations. Making new habits can be difficult—especially if you’re not yet ready to commit. But fear not—Rome wasn’t built in a day. Cultivating healthy habits takes time, planning, and little sacrifice.
The idea that willpower magically appears on January 1 has its flaws. Any time is a good time to take control of your life. Successful people recognize opportunities to improve and make small, consistent changes to grow and be better. And because New Year’s resolutions have the same shelf life as a quart of milk, it’s as good a time as any to reset and focus on healthy habits to last a lifetime.
Why Do Resolutions Fail?
We put too much pressure on ourselves to succeed msum d2l. Unless we make significant changes, we perceive a lack of progress. But, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know this isn’t the right way to form new habits.
The best advice for change is to start small and stay consistent. If your goal is to get into better shape, don’t register for a marathon—go for a walk. If you want to lose weight, don’t do keto—start by cutting out desserts. Success builds upon success. When your walk around the block turns into a couple of miles, you’ll know you’re succeeding. Better yet, as a couple miles becomes your warmup, that marathon is far more possible.
Don’t Just Be a Thinker, Be a Doer
Have you ever heard the term, analysis paralysis? It means instead of getting to work, you get bogged down by overthinking.
You can read a thousand self-help books, but until you implement what you’ve learned, you haven’t changed. Research is good, but results are better. Make some achievable healthy diet choices and act—cut out drive-thru food during the week, or limit alcohol to drinks on Fridays.
It’s not about totally denying yourself, just start somewhere. Find inspiration to try something new and do it. Once you start seeing results, it’s easier to make even more good choices to build on your success.
Build on Healthy Habits
Healthy habits aren’t only for your waistline. They can impact your career, relationships, hobbies, exercise, and even your downtime. Taking a holistic approach when creating new habits not only drives motivation and success, it builds your confidence in achieving overall results.
Think of the changes you’d like to make. Perhaps it’s a promotion at work or improving your relationship with your significant other. Maybe you have a home improvement project you want to finish or a summer trip to plan. None of these can happen without first taking stock of where you are right now. It’s not enough to want to make a change—you have to write down your intentions, set goals, and hold yourself accountable.
It might sound lame, but hang your list on the fridge. It’ll remind you of what you value and why you wrote it in the first place. Your list doesn’t have to be static—it can change as you grow.
And here’s the key—enjoy the process. Soreness after a good workout can suck the first couple of weeks, but in time you’ll come to love that feeling. And avoiding certain foods and drinks may take finding some creative alternatives, but consider how much better you’ll feel first thing in the morning.
Start with Your Belly
The number one New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.
Your diet fuels your life. And you want to focus on healthy, whole foods to power your day. Millions of diet books out there all say the same thing—good in equals good out. Feed your body foods that look like food—not the frozen stuff in boxes. Eat produce, lean meats, and drink lots of water. If you use tobacco, you already know you have a healthy choice to make: quit.
Any nutrient-rich change may cause some short-term impact for your belly. Consider adding a digestive enzyme to your diet. Your body naturally produces enzymes to help break down food in your digestive tract, but adding a nutritional supplement can offer extra help as your stomach adjusts to newly introduced foods.*
Changes for a Lifetime
TV has never been so good. But does binge-watching really offer quality of life? Think about it. There’s nothing wrong with chilling with the family, but people are meant to live active lives filled with friendship, personal development, and intellectual pursuits.
Enjoy overhauling your life. Redefine your healthy lifestyle by reading a book, taking an online class, or trying a new recipe. Spend extra time outside with your kids or spouse. Volunteer. Make those big strides to see where a life well lived on the road less traveled takes you.
Ben Raskin is a writer at USANA Health Sciences. He enjoys cycling and studying Russian. Follow him on Instagram @USANABen.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.