Wellness

Building Healthy Habits That Last

“I will get there.”

Eat more vegetables.  Cut back on alcohol. Workout everyday of the week.  Only drink water. Lose 10 pounds. The list could go on and on as to what “resolutions” we have all heard year after year. Each year we spend minutes, even hours putting together such a strategic plan that lasts maybe one week. One month? Yeah, granted maybe we will keep going to the gym, but we might feel a little defeated when we don’t lose those 10 pounds as fast as we want. Yeah, maybe we drink more water but we resort to going back out every weekend.  Although none of this is necessarily bad, it is not a way to build habits that will last.  

Basically, if your goal is to become healthier during the new year, instead of making a list of 100 goals that you will leave you feeling overwhelmed, it’s time that you just start implementing healthy habits that will last your whole life, leaving you happy both physically AND mentally. After all, health isn’t just about what you put in your body; it’s about how you approach your physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. And once you start to approach your health with that kind of mindset, it blows the door wide open with all of the resolutions you could accomplish.

Here are 9 healthy habits/switches to start embracing this year to help make 2019 and beyond healthy, happy, and filled with a lot of love towards yourself.

Start Eating Breakfast Every Single Day

Or at least try too.  Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day.  And honestly, I genuinely don’t understand how anyone could pass up the opportunity for a breakfast sandwich or a nice omelette.  It not only will give you energy throughout the day to last longer, mentally, and physically, but it will help make your metabolism a little faster if you are not eating it already.  The more small meals you eat throughout the day the faster your metabolism will be. Even if you can manage to start with something as simple as a granola bar or an apple, it’s better than nothing at all.

Find The Workout That Makes You Love Yourself More, Not Shame Yourself More

Sometimes, workouts can either be motivating or discouraging.  You can either leave feeling on top of the world, or like you did not accomplish one single thing.  Granted, you are not always going to feel 100% after a workout, and you are not always going to feel the same drive or excitement.  But you can always love yourself. You can always understand that you did enough for the day. And you can always leave feeling thankful.  Thankful for the journey of health, thankful for the opportunity to clear your mind, and thankful for yet another experience of “learning to love yourself more”.  Therefore, listen to your body. If yoga sounds great, than go clear your mind and find your inner self. If you had a rough day, than go lift heavy weights. And if you just want to sweat, go get that cardio in.  NO workout is the wrong workout. Find what is going to boost your confidence for that moment, week, or month, and tackle it.

Switch Out Salt For Spices

Cutting down the amount of salt you eat could have a tremendous effect on your health. Large amounts of salt affect your blood pressure, increasing it to the point that you are harming your heart, arteries, kidneys and even your brain. Although this may seem extreme, spices are much more natural and will not store up as much water as salt would. By switching to spices, your dishes will remain just as flavorful without the harmful addition of salt. Although you should treat yourself once in awhile to some french fries. 😉

Give Yourself A Break When Needed

Whether this pertains to work, exercise, school reading, you name it, rest is always necessary.  It gives your muscles time to rebuild after all of that hard work in the gym. It gives our minds time to stimulate after a heavy day of learning.  And most of all, it gives you time to reflect on how to keep pushing towards the happiest and healthiest version of you.  Do you like your workout routine? Do you need to do more work? Less work? Resting is crucial to help you regroup, and either switch your game plan, or keep moving forward!

Eat More Dark Chocolate

Okay, I know what you may be thinking, how is dark chocolate healthy? Well if it is consumed in a good matter, and not overdone, it can be much healthier than the traditional milk chocolate. Not only is dark chocolate filled with antioxidants but it is also lower in sugar and higher in iron and fiber compared to milk chocolate. Make sure you pick those with higher cacao percentages (70% or higher) for even lower sugar, however, I tend to eat 55% or 60% because I still like a little more sweetness in my recipes. 😉

Give Yourself a “Reward” Every Now And Then

Whether you have a fitness goal, or financial goal, it is important to reward yourself every now and then. Not only does it give you a pat on the back for all of your hard work, but it gives you something to work towards. For example, I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD.  However, if I ate it every single day I would feel gross, and probably gain 30 pounds. Therefore, I give myself the gift of a cheat meal every single week if I am eating healthy and working out.  It makes me look forward to the weekend and gives me motivation for the workouts I am aiming to complete.

Eat Less, More Frequently

If you are anything like me, you might want to speed up your metabolism and lose a few LBS. You also might want to feel full and energized for a longer period of time.  And one of the best things that I have learned is to eat THE SAME AMOUNT OF FOOD I ALREADY AM, just in smaller portions more frequently. You will then stop giving in to your grumbling stomach, and curb your appetite by having several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. This way, you’ll avoid that horrible, nauseous feeling you get after you’ve eaten too much.

Try Iced Black Coffee With Almond Milk Or Nonfat Milk Instead Of A Frappuccino

Yes, that frappuccino might be SO delicious, but it is so so bad for you. Sugary syrup… Whipped cream… It is all filled with artificial products that are so damaging to your health. If you are craving something cold that is going to give you a little boost, try an iced black coffee. Personally, I can drink it plain however I do love to add a little splash of vanilla almond milk.  Switching to this alternative will save your calories and your health.

And finally…

Love Yourself More And Quit The Comparison

Whether you compare yourself due to social media, lack of confidence in your body, or wishing you were someone else.  Quit it! You are you for a reason. You were beautifully, fearfully, and wonderfully made in the image of God and His work is always perfect.  Start accepting yourself for all that you already are and all that you have yet to become. We are always going to be a work in progress and we are always going to want to be a little more this or a little less that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love yourself right where you are at. Therefore, find the root of the comparison.  What makes you compare yourself? What makes your confidence go down? What makes you feel a little less “you”? Find that root of comparison to channel the root of self love.  Like I stated in one of my recent blogs, I had to “quit” social media for the summer in order to truly find myself, and love who I was. Discover where it is that you are not truly loving yourself and leave it. Forget the gym you are at, the social media that you are on, or the people you hang out with, if they are the root to comparison and NOT the root to self love, leave it.

Overall, I want to see you happy. I want to see us happy. I want nothing but for all of us to achieve the most out of life and be proud of it. And in order to become that happy, and healthy person, we must start somewhere. We must start accessing our lives by pinpointing where we see improvements should be made, and continuing what habits we think we need to continue.

It is a process to become the healthiest and happiest version of yourself, both physically and mentally. However, in order to be that person you must have realistic goals that you know you can achieve.  

I believe in you.  Now, you just need to believe in you. And you can do anything you put your mind to.

With all that I am,

Nicole

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