Did you know if it takes around 21 days of repetitions to form a habit? I challenge you to do as many of the following small tasks every day and by Halloween you will have turned them into healthy habits.
1. Eat Breakfast
Ok, we have all heard eating breakfast is important for getting our body ready for the day. If you don’t feed yourself in the morning, you’re expecting your body to work until lunch without any fuel. Therefore, I challenge you to buy a bag of fruit, make a smoothie to go or better still make a batch of oatmeal you can store in the refrigerator and spoon into your favorite travel mug as you rush out the door.
2. Eat Something Green
We know this one, too, right? We know that green vegetables are packed with the nutrients our body needs. Fall is a great time to browse a farmer’s market, visit an orchard or walk through the produce department in your local store. I challenge you to eat something green every day. Have you tried kale chips?
3. Get Up and Move
That next episode on Netflix can be super tempting, and when the weather cools off, it’s difficult to find the motivation to exercise. Plan out specific times for activities, and stick to them. If you make a plan to be active with someone else, you’re more likely to follow through, and you get to expand your social wellness at the same time!
4. Stand Up More
It is true, sitting is the new smoking and prolonged sitting is linked to a variety of health problems. I challenge you to get up and move every 30 minutes – take a walk around the office, or stretch your legs outside. Invite a coworker (or your boss) out for walking breaks and improve your social bonds while you’re helping your heart and liver.
5. Show Gratitude
Not only does showing gratitude help you in the form of ingratiating yourself to others, increasing your social wellness, but it can create a more welcoming and comfortable culture in your workplace, and it can literally boost your physical health. So remember say “thank you” – it is good for your health!
6. Practice Mindfulness
Many people envision “mindfulness” as meditation, but it can come in many forms. For some people it’s meditation, but for others it’s prayer, yoga, or even just taking some time to organize your thoughts. Regardless of your form of mindfulness, it promises to lower your stress and help you feel more organized, energized, and in control of your situation. Try it when you are eating one bite at time and savor the flavors or feel the ground when you walk one step at a time.
This may seem like a hard thing to do every day, but when you think about it, it’s really not. Another way to think about this is “help out.” How many times per day do we pass by someone or a situation where we could lend a hand? By adding effort to a problem you’re strengthening your social bonds, alleviating part of someone else’s burden, and making yourself feel good in the process.
8. Learn Something New
This is another one that seems big, but doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to learn the laws of theoretical physics one day and the history of the English Empire the next. By seeking out something small every day, however – like a new vocabulary word or a random fact, we’re teaching ourselves that learning isn’t something that has a start and stop, but instead is part of our daily lives.
9. Expand Your Real-Life Social Network
This goal of meeting new people can be done a variety of ways. Many of us are creatures of habit, though, who fall into a routine of going to work, going home, and then repeating the process five days per week. Try pushing out of your normal comfort zone by saying hi to a new coworker or joining a local club. You’ll expand your social circle and potentially learn something in the process.
10. Track your progress
One important step that many of us skip, or have never done in the first place, is to track your progress toward the goal. By breaking your overarching goal into do-able steps, and then tracking your progress on the steps, you’re able to see real progress even on a day-to-day basis. If you’re seeing progress, you’re more likely to stick with the project and see the goal all the way through.
So there’s your Habits for Halloween! These habits may be things you’re doing already, but be sure to share them with your friends and family who aren’t.