When it comes to health, there are some things that just cannot be controlled (age, gender, hereditary diseases, environmental pollution). Fortunately, there is a long list of things that every person can work on towards healthier living. The fact is, there are so many things you can work on to achieve a healthier life style that when most people try an all in approach—say diving head first into a new diet, exercise regimen, and stress management plan—they end up overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless amount of information related to healthy living, and inevitability sink straight to the bottom of the wellness abyss.
There is no doubt that with a burning desire for change, strict commitment, and proper coaching, one can achieve rapid success in minimal time towards his or her health/fitness goals. For the common person however, there is a better, painless, and relatively simple approach that can be adopted. This approach is the building of habits. Habits, in the simplest sense, are ways of behaving; things a person does in a regular and repeated way. When you build a foundation of solid healthy habits, living a healthy lifestyle becomes less like remembering a long to-do list, and more like tying your shoes; little thinking or worrying involved, just doing. Before getting into some easy-to-build habits, there is one prerequisite needed for habits to truly become embedded as behavior:
Patience. Patience is the key for habitual success. Why is patience so important? In 2009 the European Journal of Social Psychology released a study, researched at University College London, illustrating it takes, on average 66 days to build a habit. Using this information is advantageous when creating a realistic timeline for achieving the healthy life-style you desire. Over the next few posts we will recommend habits you can start to work on. Today we will start with "Mindfulness".
Taking a moment to be aware of your body is a great habit to start with, especially since this will without doubt trickle down into just about every other habit associated with healthy living. Constantly asking yourself how you feel when doing things like:
· Going to sleep
· Waking up
· Interacting with people
Allowing yourself to focus on how you feel, both physically and mentally, is going to help you pinpoint what you should be focusing on as habit to build or habit to break.
Try this habit: It’s hard to point out a single most distracting thing in our technology driven world, but no doubt cell phones are among the top culprits. When eating, exercising, getting ready for sleep, simply try leaving the cell phone out of reach and be mindful of the task at hand.