Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Extra Bliss : Top Tips to Creating Healthy Habits

Hello Bliss Seeker, living here in paradise and loving the ocean means wearing my cozzies (swimwear) pretty much all year round. Call me superficial but that drives me to stay as healthy as I possibly can. Apart from, of course, wanting to live my best life with the greatest amount of energy and good health.

Mr P and I frequently get asked what we do to stay fit and healthy. Followed by the often incorrect misconception that we go to the gym every day and eat lettuce leaves all day long. I must say at this point that I am by no means 'skinny' or 'athletic', just healthy. Mr P on the other hand falls under the athletic category I would say, but again, it all comes from our healthy habits.

We don't smoke, rarely drink alcohol, eat a balanced, healthy diet full of unprocessed foods, we participate in weight bearing exercise three times a week and walk every day. We do enjoy the occasional guilty pleasures when it comes to food, such as dark chocolate treats and freshly baked cakes at our favourite cafes, just not every day. We drink full cream milk in our lattes, do not avoid full fat dairy at all actually, and yes, we eat fruit! (even though there seems to be a movement against it at the moment)

Moderation and setting up healthy habits are the big key here. Remember it takes doing something for a minimum of 40 times before it becomes a habit! We humans need routine and habit in our daily lives, it's a part of our nature, so why not make them healthy? So today I am going to share with you my most successful top tips for creating healthy habits.

Moderation, moderation, moderation!
I can't stress this enough, too much of any one thing is never good. By this I mean, food, exercise, work and play. This point is probably one that we live by the most.

Don't change everything at once.
I often see people decide to 'get healthy' and change far too many things in their lives at once. The changes are so overwhelming that they become completely unsustainable. Chose one or two things at the most. For example don't try a new fitness programme and decide to cut sugar, salt, gluten and dairy out of your diet as well as give up smoking or alcohol. It won't work, you'll probably fail and be really hard on yourself for it. 

Keep a diary and document your achievements.
No matter how big or small the new habit is that you want to create, write it down. Give it a start date and an end date outlining what you want to achieve, then add entries to it daily.  It could be as simple as 'walk every day for the next 2 weeks so it becomes a daily habit' or 'begin a 12 week healthy eating plan from this date till that date cutting out sugar and gluten because I want to lose 5 kilos and have more energy'. Keep a positive daily record of your achievement. At the end of the allotted time, look back and see how you did. Trust me this works and encourages you to be accountable for your desired changes and new habits. 

Get enough sleep.
Any changes made in life, even the small ones for the better, take more of our energy than we give credit. To have the best chance at making these changes last, we need to be running at our most effective. Lack of sleep has a huge influence on our resilience to daily life. If you dread your morning alarm and hit snooze a few times before you drag yourself up because you're still feeling tired, then you simply aren't getting enough sleep. Try winding down by not going anywhere near your computer or smart phone for one hour before your usual bed time and going to bed to sleep half an hour earlier. 

Get creative and think about new healthier ways to go about your daily routine.
You don't have to change your whole life to get healthy, just try swapping to healthier options. It's often the smallest changes that have the most longevity and become new habits. Here are some of my examples; walk more, take the stairs whenever you have the choice, park your car a bit further away then usual from your destination, drink water every time you feel hungry, take a ball when you go to the beach with the kids and play with them rather then sitting and watching, buy more fresh foods and leave the packaged, processed variety at the supermarket, cook at home more often, make enough dinner to pack for lunch the next day, think about tomorrow night's dinner when your making tonight's, control your serving portions by using a smaller plate, try swapping some of your black teas for herbal ones. As you make these little changes you'll notice how much healthier you feel and how much more energy you have to make bigger changes.

Be kind to yourself and remember to nurture your spirit.
Change is difficult and you will not get it right one hundred percent of the time, but do not give up! Move on when you mess up and get it right next time, no amount of negative self talk is ever going to help. Give yourself five minutes at the beginning of your day to set a tone of positive thoughts for the day. This can be done by writing in your diary, stretching, yoga, meditating or by simply making yourself a cup of (herbal) tea for example. Give yourself five minutes at the end of the day to think about the positive aspects of it, remember no negative thoughts! If you had a hiccup in your day, which let's face it don't we all at times, just think about how you will do it better tomorrow.

So there we have it, some of the ways I have created healthy lifestyle habits. This post ended up being longer than my usual ones but hopefully it has given you some helpful ideas. Most importantly, remember to find some bliss, even the tiniest amount each day. Heather xx

Images copyright to My Ocean Bliss
Note: All that has been mentioned in this post is my own opinion from my personal experiences. I do not possess any formal or professional qualifications on this topic.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous post, Heather, thank you! :) I have been trying to become more healthy as of late so this has been really helpful. xox


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