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Create a Healthy Habit

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Prep healthy foods in the morning to stick to eating clean throughout your day. Fresh, local veggies and thai-coconut hummus by my amazing friend and chef Mike Murdoch. Check out his blog:

Our world is overflowing with shiny, but toxic things we can indulge in. We have processed, high-fat foods everywhere, less reasons to walk places, and a tighter bond with technology than ever before. If you want to create an unhealthy habit, there a plenty of opportunities for you to do so.

On the flip side, where I often find myself, there are just as many ways and reasons for you to build a healthy habit. So, what will it be? Drinking less caffeine? Saving more? Eating well? Being more productive? Being smoke-free? Pick one health goal to focus on for now and then begin creating your plan for success! I am no life coach or goal-setting consultant, but I have often used these maps for success to get myself on track and wanted to share them with you. Take it or leave it, your call.

I was in a really healthy groove during my yoga teacher training in June. I was practicing yoga (several times) daily, eating cleanly, drinking lots of water, waking up early and taking a break from technology. I felt so alive, energetic, strong and clean. It’s not my goal or desire to live so strictly so I can keep up that regime, but I did enjoy the payoff. One day at a time I incorporate more of the healthy behaviours I developed in training into my life so I feel the best I can. However, my ONE health goal to focus on for now is: correcting my sleep pattern.

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Proper sleep is such an important factor of good health. That’s why I’m hitting the hay earlier and rising earlier, too.

Now that I’ve figured out what I want my health goal to be, and hopefully you have too, we can create an action plan. First, write out a promise to yourself about the future and be clear about what you want to achieve. Though you’re technically talking about the future, make your language present-tense so you’re held accountable for acting NOW. My promise would look like this, for example: I promise that I am correcting my sleep pattern by going to sleep before midnight and waking up by 8:30, so that I feel more awake and get more done with my day. Here’s a template: I promise that I am___________(insert goal) by _______(insert action steps) so that__________( insert goal pay-off).

Give yourself time to adjust to the lifestyle changes you may need to make in order to reach that health goal. Although many lifestyle experts say it takes 21 days, some say 2 weeks, to create a habit, there’s no real one-timeframe-fits-all. How long it takes for a new, positive habit to stick depends on a number of factors, like the habit you’re trying to form and your environment. Just stay the course and before you know it you’ll have developed a new, positive behaviour. Set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with people who support your healthy behaviours, and by avoiding any triggers that may throw you off course. Try to not keep your favourite chips on your top shelf if your health goal is eating clean foods, for example.

I’m not saying this all non-chalantly. I understand how challenging it can be to create a healthy habit. Heck, I wrote most of this early this morning, and I haven’t been that productive early on in the day in weeks. That isn’t to say I didn’t contemplate sleeping in and erasing my to-do list for the day. However, with determination you and I can accomplish anything. Set a new health goal to reclaim your personal power, be clear with your intentions and then take the steps necessary to meet your target. Check in with yourself if you lose your way and try not to sit in guilt or shame if you fall off the wagon. We’re all working towards something– better health, a stronger relationship, a new career. You’re never alone.


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