When you're creating a sustainable habit consider that it's more than having a desire, or creating a new mindset. For instance, just because I wanted to feel better doesn't mean it happened without effort, I had to take action. Thankfully if what you're trying to accomplish matters to you, know it's doable, and worthwhile.
I guarantee you will be grateful when you start making the effort, because once you take action, momentum starts to build. Tune in, take notice of what you're moving towards, and acknowledge and celebrate your actions big or small.
Recently I've read a slew of posts related to changing habits. Here are just a few examples I've noticed: 10 simple ways to change your eating habits, 5 ways to master mobile marketing in 2015, 10 ways to improve your relationship instantly, or how to make a new habit stick, etc. Since the new year is here, I'm sure you'll see plenty more. Unless you're ready to take some action, they are probably for entertainment purposes only. Simply reading an article does not help to solve the problem, you need to take action. It's not necessary to take big action, one small step or two will help move you in the right direction. Also realize not all methods for creating a habit are the same, there is not a one size fits all strategy. There may be one that's more effective for you than another, try a few ways to integrate a habit and see which one floats your boat then go for it.
In fact, you may need help in the form of hand-holding, accountability, or encouragement to get in the groove. Even better, talking to somebody who has been there and has experienced the same set of circumstances may also make a difference and improve your odds. As well as friends and acquaintances, I found kindred spirits online who were an integral part of my journey and they continue to be today. Don't be afraid to ask for help. As with any help related posts or programs you're bound to find one that is the perfect fit for you.
About a year ago I integrated a new sustainable habit into my daily schedule, it is one simple habit. It has become a solid foundation I've built upon layering in several other habits. On the path toward feeling better, I learned about the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon each morning before breakfast to rev up your digestion for the day. I had already been drinking hot tea frequently so I combined the two. On most mornings I add lemon juice or the peel of a spent, organic lemon to my tea and enjoy. There are even days I get wild and crazy and add turmeric into the mix to gain even more health benefits. Now this practice has become an integral part of my daily ritual. This is the time when I contemplate my schedule, read an instructional or inspirational post, or vision my next steps. It really helps me get centered. And if there are days my schedule is less flexible, I definitely still commit to the habit and prepare the tea. I either carry it around as I get ready for the day, or pour it in a to go container for the ride.
Looking back, I recall a domino effect of sustainable habit change toward feeling better.
As I mentioned in a previous post, making the effort to discover what is in your foods is the first priority. For all intents and purposes, I was starting with a clean slate and a newfound awareness. Everything was unfamiliar, yet exciting. A trip to the grocery store changed drastically for me, ultimately for the better. I scan and scrutinize foods on the shelf as well as menu options at a restaurant. In fact, a trip to the grocery store is the starting point and habit I still practice and discuss often. Interestingly, you may eventually be able to detect what is in a food before even reading the entire label simply based on the name or description. You'll find this especially prevalent in soups, cereals, convenience foods, and frozen meals. This awareness sure makes your grocery expeditions much easier and quicker.
Recently food manufacturers have been making a concerted effort to produce those types of foods with healthier ingredients, however my first rule of thumb is ALWAYS read the labels.
Once I made changes to what I was buying at the grocery store, my meal preparation transformed as well. It was necessary to instill new habits into how I prepared my meals, what I ate, and how I stored my foods. Because I was buying more fresh produce and whole ingredients, I started to analyze the foods I stored in my pantry, fridge, and freezer. Learning the most optimum ways to expand the life span of my produce to keep it fresher longer, or how to use up the whole piece of produce so I didn't waste a bit of it highly motivated me. By the way, this is all a fluid process. As you move along this journey you may try new foods you never considered. Your taste buds may sharpen as you eliminate foods with chemicals that may have dulled your sense of taste over time. Or there may be other issues that arise you hadn't considered. For instance, over the summer, under the advisement of my herbalist, I eliminated and tested the effects of several food groups from my menu due to a possible allergy. Thankfully due to the fluid process mentioned above, I learned how to transition fairly quickly. I'll share more about that journey in a future post.
If you want to create a new habit there is a desire you're seeking, go forward and consider how you will achieve it. Mine was to feel better, which consequently lead to eating better. Then as I noticed my symptoms fading my energy level increased exponentially. What will each of your desires help you to accomplish? What are some steps you can integrate now to get there, what is one habit that can set you on the path towards your endgame? Feel free to share with me in the comments, or by email.