New Healthy Habits for 2016
Five healthy habits to bring into a new year and support you in creating the life you want.
Habits are the integral daily steps that keep us moving toward what we want to create in our lives. Every new year, it is a good time to re-evaluate our habits and maybe leave some behind while adopting some others that better support our health goals.
It’s never too late to form habits that serve you and release the ones that don’t. Here are five healthy habits you can bring into your new year to support you in creating the life you want.
1. EAT MORE PLANT-BASED FOODS
Health and wellness start with the physical body that supports us in this lifetime. Everything we put into our mouth is either fueling or weakening our bodies. The more we can eat whole, plant based food from the earth, the better we will feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Become mindful and begin to evaluate whether the foods you eat are fuel for your body and making you thrive, or energy suckers that deplete your resources.
Many people live off a plant-based diet and provide their bodies with all the necessary nutrition by incorporating legumes, nuts, beans, grains, vegetables, and fruits. In fact, by just adding nuts to your diet as a dairy replacement, you can not only get protein but all the healthy fats that your body needs as well. Not all fat is bad fat! There are many benefits from the polyunsaturated fats or monosaturated fats found in nuts, coconuts, avocado, and olive oil. They are also known as healthy fats helping keep you fuller longer, being better on the heart and the rest of the body. When you form habits adding more nuts and plant-based food into our diet is a good one to have.
2. BE MORE MINDFUL
Regardless of what you are doing, take the extra time and effort to be more mindful. It starts with becoming present to what is and what isn’t. For example, as you move into 2016, take a moment and observe what your existing habits are. We all have them. The things we do day in and day out that, over time, begin to mold and shape us. If we can be mindful of what they are -which ones align with who we want to be and which ones should be left behind- we can then start to tap into our power.
Let’s say that you wish to lose some weight this year, get in better shape, and save money. If your current habits consist of drinking a deluxe choco-mocha-creamy frothaccino from a chain coffee shop every morning, maybe you can create a new habit. The first step is to be more mindful of the impact that the coffeeshop visits are having on your finances and body. From here, you can maybe start making your morning drinks at home, and possibly find a healthier alternative with fewer calories. A simple shift in mindfulness can lead to a change in a habit and a transformation in multiple areas. We must first start by merely observing our actions and their impacts. From there, small habit changes can lead to a new life for ourselves and those around us. Another way to look at it is the ripple effect we have, just like a stone thrown into a lake, not only on ourselves but for others and the world.
3. COOK AT HOME MORE
With our busy schedules, sometimes it can be hard to find the time to cook at home; however, taking the time to cook at home is necessary on many levels. It is very healing to connect with your food, finding gratitude for it, and pouring your love into what you are about to feed the physical body. When you eat more home-cooked meals, you are directly nourishing the body on all levels: physically, mentally and spiritually.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
This habit is so simple to do, and it doesn’t cost a thing. You can do it anywhere at any time, and its vibration will only bring you more abundance and happiness. As you turn up your mindfulness from that space, you can begin to acknowledge all the things you have to be thankful for. Start with something simple like your breath, heartbeat, limbs, health, eyes, or nose to name a few, and begin to experience the miracle that each one of those things is. Practicing gratitude will create a shift from a mindset of scarcity to abundance.
Let’s return to the example again from tip #2 that concerned weight loss and finances. If we can find gratitude for the food that we eat and take the time to become present when eating it, in turn, we may be more inspired to make better choices in foods that will serve the highest levels of health for our bodies. By finding gratitude for our current career and financial situation rather than focusing on what is lacking, we can concentrate on all the abundance. When you begin to make choices from a place of gratitude, you allow the continuous flow of more opportunity and good fortune your way.
5. GO WITH THE FLOW
In life there are so many things that we can control and so many more that we can not. When things don’t go the way we want them to and we begin to resist the flow of how it’s going, there is a shift in energy and things become much more difficult and stressful. Rather than fighting with the currents of life, see if you can let go, surrender and go with the flow. Move forward with intention and purpose while remaining willing to be flexible and explore what direction to go next. Be open to uncovering all the possibilities.
It is when we face a perceived ‘set back’ that we must step back and looking for the hidden blessing in the situation. When we can let go of needing to always be in control and instead trust that sometimes things happen for a reason, we can begin to open up and see things in ways we hadn’t before. Sometimes this may lead us to even better outcomes than we could have ever imagined. Whether it’s weight loss, getting fit, or money, life, and circumstances will be in constant flux. Keep your eye on the ball of where you want to move forward with an open and flexible mind. Go with the flow rather than resist the current and always keep your end goal in mind.
Remember that habits are our daily practices. Just like it took time for us to form habits that we have now, we must be patient and diligent in developing new habits. It typically takes about 3 weeks or 21 days to make or break a habit. If you are unclear on what your habits are, simply examine your daily practices as an investigator might when studying how one spends each hour of the day. And as you begin to introduce changes into your routine, remember that it takes practice and patience. Some days, you will do great and other days you may slip back into old patterns but keep practicing. It is the only way to master a new habit and way of living and being in this world.
If we are going to have habits after all, wouldn’t it make sense to have ones that are worth having, with intention and that move us closer to the things we want?
Written by Lisa Saremi