5 Feel Good Habits to Cultivate in the New Year
Don’t let failed New Year’s resolutions get you down. Instead, learn some powerful tips for creating lasting habits that will have you feeling good for a lifetime!
For many people. New Year’s Resolutions can start to feel like a long list of “should dos” and “ought tos” that leave you feeling hopeless.
Why? Because many times, when creating new habits, we forget two important things…we forget to (1) make time for the new habits we want to incorporate and (2) take it step by step.
The thing is, we already live in a 24/7 world and if you stop and think about it, how much “spare time” do you really have these days?
Adding one more thing – especially a new habit – can feel overwhelming, to say the least.
So we’re going to suggest that you skip the idea of a “New Year’s resolution” and instead, focus on some healthy habits that will have you feeling your best for a lifetime. But here’s the key…every time you add any one of these habits, you must eliminate a habit that isn’t serving you (or not adding to the quality of your life).
Here’s how to start cultivating our top 5 feel good habits:
- Develop an attitude of gratitude – You’ve probably heard that a healthy mind will help to create a healthy body. Well, science has shown that gratitude has one of the strongest links with mental health compared to other personality variables.1
Studies also show that people who practice gratitude on a regular basis feel more optimistic, determined, energized, and less stressed. They begin to exercise more regularly and make more progress toward personal goals.2
An attitude of gratitude provides a solid foundation that can support growth in other areas of your life. And if you understand the Law of Attraction, then you know that the more grateful you are, the more you get to be grateful about!
Making it a lasting habit: Think about what you are grateful about each day – anyone could fit that into a busy schedule! Or take action by keeping a Gratitude Journal. Write weekly notes of appreciation to people that bring joy to your life or placing sticky notes of thanks around your work or living space. Forget sheep, count your blessings as you ease yourself to sleep each night!
Is your sweet tooth making it too hard to give up sugar? Satisfy your sweet tooth with all-natural, zero calorie Stevia instead! Stevia is a safe natural sweetener that doesn’t spike your blood sugar and better yet, it’s 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you only need a few drops. And unlike sugar, Stevia is not addictive, so you can enjoy the sweet taste without setting up a vicious cycle of cravings. Try it today and see for yourself why Body Ecology’s Stevia Liquid Concentrate tastes better than all the rest!
- Reduce your sugar intake – Nourish your body with foods that will support your overall health. Sugar is addictive, lowers your immunity, contributes to candida infections, robs your body of energy, and can pack on needless pounds.
Making it a lasting habit: Adding fermented foods and drinks to your diet can help eliminate your cravings for sugar and processed foods.
But there’s no need to give up the sweet taste, just because you’re giving up sugar! Stock up on the healthy alternatives to sugar, like all-natural, zero calorie Stevia. A few drops of Stevia added to your favorite herbal tea or a glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon (for a healthier lemonade) can satisfy your sweet tooth AND re-hydrate your body to reduce cravings. To learn how to use Stevia instead of sugar, read The Stevia Cookbook, by Donna Gates.
- Eat more vegetables – Vegetables are nature’s most perfect foods and are also the most abundant foods on earth. They are alkaline-forming, a great source of fiber, and rich with the vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants needed to heal your body.
Making it a lasting habit: Discover the 9 Healthiest Winter Vegetables in your grocery store. Post the benefits of your favourite veggies on your fridge. Become fascinated with Seaweeds and Sea Vegetables. Experiment with a new recipe each week. Make vegetable soups (and try them for breakfast!). Start your day with a Good Morning Greens Smoothie.
- Exercise – Getting more active can help to jumpstart your metabolism, strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve your flexibility, manage your weight, control your blood pressure, and improve your sleep! 3, 4
Walking, Yoga, Rebounding, stretching, dancing around your kitchen… What stirs you into motion? There are hundreds of activities that will improve your health as you move your body. Find an activity that you truly enjoy and get moving! Your body (and mind) will appreciate it.
Making it a lasting habit: Create an environment that supports more activity. Fill your iPod with your favourite energetic tunes. Partner up: choose a fun exercise and schedule play dates. If bad weather, fatigue or joint issues are stopping you from exercising, try rebounding instead. Choose to walk or bike instead of drive and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Get more sleep – Sleep is one of the most important elements to any healing program. Getting adequate sleep is vital for your health and can boost your metabolism, help you maintain a healthy weight, enhance your mood, protect your cardiovascular health, and fight illness and disease.5
The long winter nights are the perfect time to introduce more sleep into your daily routine. And it’s during hours of rest that your adrenals work hard to repair and rejuvenate your body!
Making it a lasting habit: First and foremost, make time for sleep. Plan when you want to go to bed and start winding down at least an hour before that. Create a comfortable sleeping environment by decluttering your bedroom, finding a pillow you love and freshening your sheets regularly. Read up on 10 Resolutions to Commit to Better Sleep.
And finally, commit to removing a habit that is no longer serving you so that you can replace it with a new habit that will have you feeling your best. What can you let go of? Watching TV? Surfing the Net late into the night? Take a look at your daily habits and you’ll surely find something you’d like to eliminate.
Once you do, start with one feel good habit and practice the Principle of Step by Step. Freeing up your time to take small baby steps little by little can encourage you to cultivate lasting habits that leave you feeling good for a lifetime!
- Park, N., Peterson, C. & Seligman, M. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 603–619.
- Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: Experimental studies of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389.
- Wellman, Dr. Tina, “Rebounding: Aerobic Resistive Exercise,” Total Health. https://www.needak.com/page2453.php
- The Numerous Benefits of Walking, AARP.org. http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/walking/a2004-06-17-walking-numerousbenefits.html.
- The Importance of Sleep and Health, Health.Harvard.edu.