In keeping with the New Year’s theme here, I figure that January is a fine and dandy time to take stock of where we’re at with our healthy living activities. One of my tasks for the month involves taking an honest look at what I’m doing in terms of health and fitness to see where and how I can continue to move forward this year.
My process has involved making a list of the habits that I’m ready to leave behind. What are things you do, on a regular basis, that don’t serve your healthiest, happiest self?
It’s not a particularly easy question to answer, but I think a lot of us are pretty good at beating ourselves up so we can answer it fairly easily. That being said, if you’re having trouble, ask yourself what do I justify? If you need to come up with excuses to get away with something, it just might be something that’s not really in your best interest.
The next step, of course, is to focus on what you want to create instead. What will you be replacing those things you’re letting go of with? What would you like to focus on cultivating in your life instead?
When it comes to health and fitness, it’s so easy focus on what we’re doing wrong. So often we think about what we need to give up or stop doing and can forget that when we make a habit “wrong” without having a replacement in mind, we’re left with a behaviour that seems all the more impossible to give up (I know I for one want what I “can’t” or “shouldn’t” have). That doesn’t mean that it’s complicated to fix this, though. If you decide to give up your afternoon chocolate bar or morning latte, it’s as easy as deciding on a healthier replacement—think swapping the chocolate bar for an apple and some almonds or that latte with a cup of tea or a green smoothie.
This year, I listed my “bad” habits on a piece of paper. They included drinking more coffee than water on a regular basis, skipping snacks/calling spoonfuls of peanut butter a balanced snack, relying on pre-made meals from the fancy grocery store, and letting myself get too hungry on a regular basis. From there, I made a list of what I want to replace them with: drinking a big glass of water before every meal and drinking all the tea in my cupboard before I buy more coffee, planning a snack with a fruit or veggie in it into my day, keeping easy protein sources (chickpeas, anyone?) on hand, and buying meat that I feel good about to prepare on the weekend so I’m ready to go for the week. Next, I took that piece of paper with the bad habits on it and tore it into a bunch of pieces and threw it away.
Symbolic of me, no? Goodbye old (yucky) habits, hello new (happy) habits.
What are you ready to stop doing?
What kinds of healthy habits are you going to cultivate this year?