I’ve already written a few blogs about habits. I particularly liked BJ Fogg’s book, Tiny Habits. In fact, I wrote about it here: Get Happy with Tiny Habits. However, right now I want to work specifically on healthy habits.
One of Fogg’s healthy habits is called the “SuperFridge.” Every week he stocks his fridge full of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables. Then he eats what is in there. Willpower can be in short supply at times. However, if all you see when you open the fridge is healthful food already prepped, it is much easier to make the healthy choice.
Set yourself up for success by organizing your environment to support you. Make it easy to make the best choice and hard to find the chocolate chip ice cream. If you have to make a trip to the store to get ice cream, your own natural laziness might make you think twice.
The easiest way to install a new habit is to get an external support structure in place. The structure needs to be strong enough that you’ll do the new habit even when you don’t feel like it. If you are an extrovert, then make sure that structure for support includes people and not just an app. [I love the app Habitshare and use it to remind me to take my vitamins every day].
Your structure for support doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. It can be as simple as a yellow sticky note on your fridge. Or you can have a standing daily appointment to walk your dog with your neighbor every morning. It could even be as simple as putting your journal on your pillow so you remember to write each night before bed. Your structure for support could include joining a walking club, hiring a personal trainer or life coach.
You can put in place a whole host of fabulous habits by creating your ideal morning routine. My perfect morning is making breakfast for my kids then going for a swim in the ice-cold sea with my friends. This clears my head and wakes me up so that I’m then refreshed and ready to write and coach. Nothing like a cold water plunge to wake up every cell in your body. It’s 10 times better than the strongest cup of coffee and much better for your health!
Your ideal morning routine may change as you change and your life evolves. When the kids are grown and away I’d imagine that I’d like to start the day with a morning meditation. Right now the post breakfast/school-run swim slots right into our family life. That’s why it’s ideal for now. The key to the ideal morning routine is that it works for you with your life as it is. You may need to tweak and experiment until you find what works best for you. I tried meditating early in the morning but found that it worked better to journal and meditate in the evening. I found it as a way to clear my head before bed and plant seeds to think about during my sleep.
There are lots of health-supportive days throughout the year, like the International Day of Peace and Mindfulness Day. To support your daily meditation, try an app such as headspace.com. You get a daily ten minute guided meditation. Every day is different. The first two weeks are a free trial so you can check it out risk-free. Or get out your spiritual toolbox and pick an inspiring quote to start or end your day on an uplifting note.