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Simple Steps to Forming Healthy Habits

January 6, 2021

Are you ready to make some changes in your life? New Year’s is the perfect time to start! Every year, people make resolutions – and then break them before January is over. Here’s the secret to making your change stick in a couple of easy steps:

  1. Start small.
  2. Increase your efforts in tiny increments.
  3. Be patient. There will be obstacles along the way. It takes time for something new to become a habit. If you slip up, don’t give up. Go easy on yourself. Just get back on track as soon as you can.
  4. Build in some rewards. If something requires a lot of willpower and there’s no payoff, it won’t feel too good. 

Want ideas for healthy resolutions?

Sneak in extra activity.

Find ways to get moving more with little tricks for your everyday life. Try parking further away. (Added bonus: It’s easier to find a parking spot and you avoid the drama of circling the rows, too!) Take the stairs when you can. Amp up your music playlist and dance. It’s amazing how some good beats will motivate you and your legs will follow suit. Even more surprising is just how good it makes you feel both physically and mentally. 

Start journaling.

It’s a great tool for self-improvement. You will really get to know yourself better when you see your thoughts on paper. It doesn’t have to be overcomplicated, either. You can begin with a gratitude list. Find three things you’re thankful for each day. Try writing at night to “release” those racing thoughts in your head before bed. If you’re wondering what else to write about, ask yourself a question and answer it. Then ask yourself “What if…” Consider pros and cons. For example, write about what stresses you out. Once you see it on paper, you’ll see it isn’t as scary as it was in your head. 

Bullet journals are another alternative. Think of it as condensed journaling that’s part day planner, part diary and part anything else you want to add. It’s a great way to plan, reflect and even get creative with stickers and doodles.

As Ernest Hemingway said, “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” Journaling is simply a tool. You’re not creating a novel for anyone else to read. This is something you do for you alone.

Reduce screen time.

After a year where we spent a lot more time online, reducing our time in front of a screen in 2021 could do everyone a world of good. It might be a tough habit to break though. Set specific goals such as putting devices away at mealtime or putting your phone on silent mode so you aren’t tempted to respond. You can also use an app or a timer to help monitor your usage. 

Learn the art of meal prepping.

By planning meals in advance, you eliminate the chaos of “What are we going to eat tonight?” It helps you to resist the temptation of the drive-thru, try some creative new dishes, eat healthier and save money. 

Meal prepping can be customized to whatever works best for you. It can involve batch cooking – where you make a big batch of a recipe on the weekend and freeze portions for later. It can mean divvying up individually-portioned meals into containers that are easy to heat and eat. Or it can mean chopping, peeling, slicing and roasting the ingredients you know you’ll need ahead of time. For example, you can chop up fruit and make a yogurt dip for afternoon snacking or peel and slice veggies for tomorrow’s stir fry.

  • To get started, experts suggest you follow a couple of easy steps:
    • Determine how much prepping you’d like to do (e.g., three days’ worth)
    • Choose a meal that you usually eat out or skip altogether (such as breakfast or lunch—but not both to start)
    • Pick a day to do your grocery shopping and prepping (Sunday is a popular choice)
    • Check out a cookbook or app or Pinterest for tips, techniques and ideas to guide you

Your friends at Riverside Medical Clinic celebrate your efforts to add positive changes to your life. We’re here to support you in any way we can, too! Feel free to give us a call at 951-683-6370.

Riverside Medical Clinic