healthy habits

Creating Healthy Habits

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The Whole Life Challenge is at it’s half way point. For 28 days I have been eating 99.9% Paleo, stretching, working out and picking up other healthy habits along the way.

As I enter the second half of this challenge, including a week long vacation, it is now time to figure out how to implement those healthy habits into everyday life when I am not being held accountable by a challenge.

This topic was brought up last night by my better half, how do you apply a challenge to the every day?

I’ve learned over the past few weeks a few things about myself and striving for my “healthy.” The first piece of that is creating healthy habits. Below are the steps that have worked for me during this challenge, but also in the past when trying to wake up earlier, pick up a skill for cycling or a new routine at work. They work for me and maybe they’ll work for you too.

Steps to Creating Healthy Habits

1. Submersion

I find that the first major step for me is completely submerging myself in the healthy choice I am looking to make. Whatever healthy choice you are tackling first embrace it, hug it tight and become very educated with it. Maybe you are starting to go to the gym, wake up early, or eat healthier – back your decision up with a lot of sound research on why you are making this HEALTHY choice. This will come in handy when you’re doubting yourself in a few days or when going gets tough.

Sign up for a group, buy a sleep app, save a ton of recipes to try and keep submerging. Task yourself to become an expert on this healthy habit. It will become so much of your every day that it really changes from a healthy choice to a healthy habit.

This is when you know you are fully submerged and ready to move on to the next healthy choice.

2. Limit the Options

In our house the only option for meals are Paleo. For the first 3 weeks in the challenge we hid the foods that we thought we would return to after the challenge, but ended up giving them away when we realized we didn’t want or need them in our diet. For myself, I bring lunch every day to work and the only option if I run out of food is a smoothie 4 blocks away from work. That is my only optional food at work.

If your only choice was between a chicken or a bison burger, you are doing great. If your only choice is to run at lunch or go to the gym, you’re an athlete. If you limit your choices, cut out the fat and give yourself less things to ponder, you will always succeed. Do not allow yourself the option to bail, skip a workout (unless sick or injured) or eat the crap. Those aren’t options, really they aren’t. When you don’t give yourself the option or choice, you don’t have to have will power to overcome it.

Think of one healthy habit that you practice in your life. This could be basic like doing laundry every Saturday morning so that you have clean clothes for the week, or taking your dog for a walk everyday after work. This is a healthy habit that you don’t even think of as an option, I bet.

3. Community

The Whole Life Challenge was a purchased community. With the challenge came forums, comments and a community to push us to be better. Thankfully, cycling and CrossFit both have tight knit communities to push us. As the challenge winds down I plan on submerging myself even more in these communities to feed off others positive and healthy choices.

What community, meetup or group can you join to help this new habit?

4. Prepare for Success

This is honestly my favorite mental switch that I have found during this challenge.

Through out my life I have been prepared for failure. It’s ingrained in my makeup and not something I am proud of. By submerging myself into healthy cooking and a new sport, limiting the options of failure, and leaning on a great community when I’ve needed an upper I have set myself up success. Success in healthy habits that has led to a healthier, happier, and stronger me!

What are you preparing for, success or failure?

[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.

5. Commit

This will be the hardest step of creating healthy habits. If you have built the foundation of healthy choices on all the above steps you will be left with only one thing, committing to these choices so that they can soon become habits.

More than anything, remember you are committing to yourself and your family. A healthier you is the best commitment you could ever make.

Conclusion

Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

Photo Credit: scribbletaylor