Hey Angels and Alphas,
We’re about a couple of weeks into the New Year, and even though it might feel late, now is a great time to set goals for the upcoming months and reflect of what you’ve learned in the last year (because there’s never been a wrong time to do that.)
To help you in your goal-setting venture, I’ve created a checklist of healthy habits you can adopt to make sure that you’re always growing, glowing, and becoming healthier!
We’re going to tackle both physical and mental health, energy, memory, willpower, mindfulness, and more!
If you’re someone who wants to create as many healthy habits as possible but doesn’t know where to start, you can save this checklist and come back to it every time you need ideas!
Let’s get right into the six best healthy habits to develop in the next 12 months.
Healthy Habit #1 – Stretch before/after you work out.
So many people ignore their stretching routine, yet it’s so vital to growth and recovery!
If you want to improve your recovery, relax after your workout, and improve your flexibility, you need a stretching routine! If you feel exceptionally stiff after your workouts, that’s another great tell that you need to be implementing a stretching routine into your workout.
There are two different types of stretching you need to incorporate into your stretching routine:
- Static stretching: which essentially means moving into a position that lengthens your target muscle and holding it.
- Dynamic stretching: which refers to moving in and out of a position that lengthens the target muscle. A lunge is a good example of this. With subtle bouncing movements, you can put pressure on and off the muscle tissue.
Static stretching is best used after your strength training workouts. Dynamic stretching is an excellent way to warm-up before your workouts.
Whichever you chose, before or after your workout, all you need are 10 minutes of routine stretching.
Develop this habit, and you’ll be reaping major health benefits on muscle recovery, improved flexibility, injury prevention, and so much more!
Healthy Habit #2 – Become a Breakfast Person
I know what you’re going to say.
“Some people just don’t eat breakfast.”
But that’s not true! It can’t be. Before you say you’re one of the people who never eat breakfast, you need to make sure that (a) it’s not just habit that’s keeping you from getting hungry in the mornings (b) you’ve actually tried to set up a breakfast schedule.
What you’ll find is that if you eat a healthy breakfast every day for a week, your body’s energy levels will completely skyrocket. A breakfast chock full of protein and healthy fats will get you the vigor you need to feel energized throughout your entire day. Get a good breakfast, and you can easily feel satiated until the afternoon.
Plus, this puts your body in the right rhythm – stocking up on energy early in the morning when your body needs it most.
This also helps your metabolism! When you put food in your stomach early in the morning, you’re telling your body to prepare to burn more calories that day. And when you wake up in the morning and keep your stomach empty until noon, you’re sending the signal to your body to conserve energy.
To try implementing this habit, have breakfast every day for seven days and then examine your energy levels.
Healthy Habit #3 – Journaling
We’ve talked a lot about journaling lately, and with good reason.
Not only is it a great way to track your progress and keep your new habits in check, but it’s also a great way to vent out and write about the things you learn daily. The scientific
benefits of journaling on mental health have long been proven, but did you also know that journaling is a great way to lose weight?
Even though losing weight by writing sounds fatuous, it’s actually backed by science and research!
Two groups of participants were put through a weight loss program, and one of the groups had to journal daily about it. They tracked their progress throughout the journey and identified key metrics that they could improve on. The result? The group that kept a journal lost, on average, 5 percent more fat than the one who didn’t.
To try implementing this habit, grab a pen and a journal and vent out your thoughts by writing either first thing in the morning or just before bed. Do this for seven days and start thinking of ways you can track the progress of the habits you want to develop for yourself.
Healthy Habit #4 – Prioritize Sleep!
The list of benefits of getting good sleep is just too big. It keeps you in a good mood, sharpens your memory, helps you learn, gives you energy, and that’s just scratching the surface. In the long term, it keeps you away from diseases and helps you stay trim.
This is a huge reminder for those who have been putting sleep off – you need to focus on getting quality sleep if you want to be healthy, let alone making progress in the gym.
If you have difficulties getting enough sleep at night, your next step should be starting a sleep log!
If you start tracking (1) how many hours per sleep you get per night, (2) at what time you go to bed, and (3) at what time you wake up in the morning, you’ll get a clear picture of your sleeping patterns.
This way, you’ll find out the optimal amount of sleep you need every day. And once you start going to bed and waking up at the same times every day, you’ll get into a routine that will allow you to get the quality sleep you need.
To implement this habit, log your sleep for 7 days and then start building a micro-habit of waking up at the same time every day. Very soon, you’ll have no problem going to bed at the same time every night, too.
Healthy Habit #5 – Daily Meditation!
In the age of information, meditation helps us develop skills that have become quite rare. Being able to focus and being able to point your attention away from negativity are two things that a lot of people can’t do anymore.
Everyone is overwhelmed by information and environmental stimuli and most people can’t seem to be able to quiet their minds.
However, these mindfulness skills are vital to your success – in the gym, in school, in your career, everywhere!
Meditation has become increasingly popular in both the Western and Eastern world. Whichever way you choose to go and whichever philosophy you choose to follow, meditation is going to have a profoundly positive effect on your life and your journey toward your goals.
It will help you learn how to focus, how to pay attention, how to quiet your mind, how to block negativity, and a ton of other skills that will help you achieve the results you’re looking for in pretty much any area of your life.
To develop this habit, approach it gradually. Start with five minutes of meditation a day and build your way up every day until you reach half an hour.
Healthy Habit #6 – Yoga!
When it comes to yoga, a lot of people make it stick as a habit very easily. Others tend to go in and out of their routine, but the fact remains – pretty much everyone who has tried yoga has enjoyed the results.
If you want to start and keep a yoga habit, you need two things. You need to make yoga accessible, and you need to learn about it daily.
It might be tempting to get a membership to the nearest yoga studio that has classes. But when you think about how much time you spend at work, at school, or traveling, you quickly realize that if you want to make yoga a consistent practice in your life, you need to make it accessible. This means getting your own mat and learning to do yoga anywhere.
And when you start learning about yoga daily, you’ll begin to see how many philosophies and benefits are truly behind it. You’ll start to notice a natural connection to it as a practice. Yoga goes back thousands of years, and it’s no coincidence that people are starting to pick it back up now.
To implement this habit, your first step should be buying a yoga mat. When you get some experience, join a class and you’ll find your own yoga “tribe!”
If you want to make this a year of positive change, developing a few healthy habits would be a great start.
In this list, you’ll find the easiest, most effective ways to stay in shape both physically and mentally (not to mention, they’re all habits that will help you on your journey toward your big goal).
If we successfully integrate all of these habits in our lives, we’d all be healthy, sharp, and motivated. So why don’t we? In the next 12 months, I challenge you to develop all six of these habits for yourself – regardless of how hard or stressful that might sound, you’re probably closer than you think.
Save this post and keep this as your personal habit checklist for 2020, and if you check them all off until the end of the year, you’ll be a better, stronger, and healthier you – that’s a promise!