The seasons are changing, the weather is cooling down, sweaters are making their way out of the depths of our closets, and the days are getting shorter. As the weather shifts, the question is how do you plan on keeping up with the healthy changes you made over the summer? Or if you’re just getting started how can you get your healthy lifestyle going?
The first step to answering either of those questions is to reflect on what is already working in your life and what is not. List all your habits, from mindless scrolling through TikTok to hitting the gym. This list will give you a clear picture of where and how you spend your time and energy. If habits align with your goals and the life you wish to live, highlight them and figure out how to do these more consistently. Also, this is a prime time to celebrate all the hard work that goes into doing these positive habits consistently.
Now that we have identified those positive habits, it’s time to address the negative or neutral habits. These habits either pull your time and energy away from the life you want to live or are habits that have little impact towards the goals that you have set. While neutral habits can be the habits that “need to be done” but do not assist you in achieving your goals, negative habits can prevent you from achieving your long-term goals. Negative habits should be looked at seriously and steps can be made to reduce their regularity or cut out completely. An example of negative habits could be smoking, lack of sleep, high-stress activities, or procrastination.
We have negative habits for a reason, they are often meeting a need that we have that is not being met in a healthy way. For example, if you constantly find yourself snacking even if you’re not hungry, step back and ask yourself why you feel the need to snack. Are you snacking as an excuse to take a break or is it to fill an emotional need? Understanding the why behind the negative habits will make it easier to find habits to replace them with.
After listing the negative habits, identify the habits that are more aligned with your goal, and make a list of the top ten habits that you want to incorporate into your daily life. Then track in your journal whether or not you complete each habit. It will be helpful to look back to see what habits fit into your lifestyle and which ones don’t.
While it is tempting to fill your life with habits that are only an idealized version of yourself in isolation from the demands of the outside world could keep up with; understand that we live in a reality where things happen that are out of our control so make space for growth, rest and grace. The aim of this exercise is progress, not perfection, as well as understanding what obstacles (self-imposed or otherwise) impact our habits and routines.
If you are looking for guidance, tools, or coaching you can contact me through the “contact me” tab on the menu bar.