As the New Year unfolds, I encourage you to rethink “resolutions” for yourself. After all, the majority of Americans aren’t too successful when fulfilling their promises of change. As Albert Einstein so eloquently stated, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology reports 29% have fallen away from their New Year’s resolutions in the first two weeks; 36% after one month; and, a whopping 54% within six months. This year I recommend adopting “healthy habits” that can lead you to positive lifestyle changes. Once we have adopted lifestyle changes, success will follow. Remember too, that healthy habits don’t happen overnight. Actually, it may take up to three months for an activity to become a habit.
According to Forbes Magazine, the top-five New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 included four which are related to personal health, including: Eat Healthier; Be More Active; Lose Weight; and, Improve Mental Wellbeing. You may recall in my December newsletter, Lighten Up Your Holiday, I discussed in detail the importance of exercise and I encouraged you to strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Years ago, I designated mornings as “my time.” The reasoning is simple, I have more control over my morning hours! My routine will vary and include aerobic activities, such as walking or elliptical work, strength training and stretching. This morning routine is a healthy habit that I encourage you to adopt.
To make it easy, here are a few healthy habits (HH) to help facilitate your morning exercise practice:
- HH 1: Prepare the night before. Fill a water bottle to take with you to the gym. Squeeze a fresh lemon or lime in your water so that you can get a daily-dose of vitamin C while exercising. Place the water bottle in the refrigerator so it will be ready for when you walk out the door.
- HH 2: Make a pre-workout meal if necessary. Based on how much time you plan to spend exercising, you may want something light to eat. This can be as simple as a banana or apple on the way out the door. Caution: if you make this more than a snack, you may have trouble while exercising such as cramps or nausea.
- HH 3: Gather your workout gear the night before. I line-up my shoes and clothing in the bathroom each night so I can get dressed quickly and quietly in the morning. This eliminates any hassle and I can be ready to walk out of the house within 10 minutes of waking. However, if you are one who exercises after work, put your exercise gear in the car the night before. Going home can present distractions and procrastination can occur.
- HH 4: Set your alarm clock. If you are used to sleeping in, an alarm clock may be necessary to kick-start your morning. If you are one who enjoys pressing the “snooze” button, you may want to reposition your alarm clock so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.
These four simple healthy habits will get you out the door each and every morning if you practice them daily. Notice that I only gave you four HH to avoid overwhelming you. Many times, we have great intentions, jump in full-force, and then fail because it is too much to sustain. Or, we may have several resolutions that require a lot of planning and organization to actually make them work…and we fail. These simple healthy habits are a great step to physical activity. Now, let’s put them in action.