What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – JANE GOODALL
In my last post, I mentioned that I had set up some healthy habits to keep me on track of achieving my weight goal.
I’m a huge advocate of creating good habits. They have, in the past, created massive change and wellbeing in all sorts of areas in my life, but it’s getting the right habits to stick and that can only be done by making sure they are achievable. The one place that I always go back to for inspiration on this subject is Zen Habits. If you’ve haven’t checked out Leo Babauta’s website, I urge you to do so (the archive is a goldmine!)
I spent a bit of time before the end of 2017 thinking about what healthy habits I could do and what habits would have the most impact on the changes I want to see in my life. The simple wording of the habit itself isn’t that easy. It has to be meaningful to me. In the past, I’ve created a “no alcohol” habit. But then what about special occasions when I feel I’d like to have a drink? What about the times I’m on holiday? I’d hate to fail a habit just because I drank real ale while in the Lake District. So I decided to modify it this year and have re-worded it to “No alcohol or moderate drinking”. Now that would mean different things to different people but I take “moderate” to mean enough to enjoy it but not enough to even get tipsy on it.
I track my habits using an app called Coach.me
I’ve tried every single tracking app out there and always come back to Coach because it’s simple and non-complicated – unless you want to make it so in which case you can extract all your data and put it into a spreadsheet.
Healthy Habits 2018
Below are the habits I’ve already started to track:
- Wake up at 06:30am or earlier
- Yoga or stretching
- Be grateful or give gratitude to others
- Strength training (I have yet to score on this yet!)
- Eat a plant-based whole food breakfast
- Eat a plant-based whole food lunch
- Eat a plant-based whole food dinner
- Walk at least 5,000 steps (I’m aiming for 10,000 but it’s important to be achievable and so far this yr I’ve only managed to hit this 5,000 goal 8 times!) Since receiving an exercise tracker (not the more well-known brand!), I am totally shocked at how inactive I am due to working in an office 5 days a week.
- Drink 750ml of water (I’ve purposely chosen this amount so I can divide it by 3 for morning, afternoon and evening of 250ml)
- Complete food diary
I may not be able to tick all of these off every day but I need to aim for as many as possible if I’m going to lose weight.
The more consistent I can be with these habits the sooner I’ll start to see changes but being consistent is the key which can sometimes be difficult with hectic schedules and work/life balance. That’s why I’ve purposely designed them rather than use the more generic habits often seen banded about.
As the year progresses I’ll let you know how I’m doing.
So far I’m doing okay on all of them apart from the strength training one which I haven’t been able to do with moving house (moving a lots of heavy boxes counts though, right?!)
To make these habits stick I’m creating new routines and schedules to make sure I can achieve. So for instance, by getting up earlier I allow myself time to take the dogs for a walk (2,000 steps right there) have a healthy breakfast and do some stretching or yoga. The drinking of water takes a bit more reminding as I so easily forget to do this, other than first thing in the morning.
It might be that as new routines are established I’ll need to tweak the wording of the habits or change them for something else. However, I have committed not to change anything until the end of March so I can be consistent enough to see if it’s really working or not!
What habits are you following in 2018?