I have always lived under the mantra that the things you do everyday are what make or break your health. So with that in mind, your daily habits are really quite important. Here are some that I am working on tweaking!
My mom recently read James Clear’s Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones. Since then, habits are her favorite topic! She wrote a blog post about her quest to change her everyday habits, and at the time she had 43 she was working on. Lest you think she has that many bad habits, she has broken some bigger ones down into several layers, so she’s tackling one at a time. (She is so nuts about the book she is giving away two copies so go over to her blog and enter!)
Your Daily Habits Matter Most
I have always lived under the mantra that the things you do everyday are what make or break your health. Having a giant piece of cake or 3 glasses of wine every other week isn’t going to make much of a difference in your overall health, but stopping for a daily grande Starbucks drink or drinking 3 glasses of wine a day will have a big impact. So with that in mind, your daily habits are really quite important. Since mom and I have been talking about habits so much, I decided there were a few that I could work on as well.
Here Are Five Habits I’m Working On
1 // Taking my supplements
I admit I am the worst at remembering to take my supplements. I have tried morning routines and evening routines yet I still forget to take my multivitamin, probiotic and vitamin D more often than not.
The change: I set a reminder on my phone that goes off every day at 9am. It’s really annoying, which means that I am eager to make it go away ASAP. Needless to say I haven’t missed a day since creating the reminder.
2 // Having something sweet after lunch
Many of the habit research says that you can’t just delete a habit and expect to just will the craving away. Because it’s easier to add than subtract. I know that the #1 reason I reach for sweets after lunch (or dinner) is to cleanse my palate. Sometimes going straight to toothpaste or gum is a bit too harsh of a palate cleanser though. I can’t really explain why.
The change: I’m having fruit instead! Cherries, a strawberry, citrus, watermelon. Summer is the season of wonderful fruit, and fruit makes an excellent palate cleanser.
3 // Reading more
This one comes as no surprise because I decided to write a whole post about it! I really liked many of your suggestions in the post’s comments.
The change: M-Th nights after putting the kids to bed we read. Weekends are for shows and movies.
4 // Chip Overload
I have a habit of pulling out a bag of chips (I’m looking at you Stacy’s Pita Chips!!) and munching on them while I’m making lunch. This is usually because I’m starving and can’t make my lunch fast enough! Snacking at the counter directly from the bag is never a good idea!
The change: Of course I can have chips with my lunch if I want some, but the bag can’t come out until I’m ready to sit down.
5 // Just do it
And an emotional one for mom! I never wait to the last minute to complete a project because I do not work well under pressure. BUT I do procrastinate in general. Sometimes I’ll bump a task down my to-do list all week because I’m avoiding it. I’ll wait for the perfect uninterrupted block of time to start something when if I had just chipped away at it I could have finished it in 4 smaller time blocks. This post is a good example!
The change: Learning to chip away! For a blog post, for example, I’ll tell myself I don’t have to do the focused writing part, but I just need to do the title, photos, and a quick heading outline of the post. Just doing that much makes the writing part so much easier when I do have some quiet time to write.
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
I’m definitely working on reading more too! I’ve actually been quite successful so far, as I now have to commute to work (recently got a new job!). 😀
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
My best habit is surely reading books regularly. I’ve learned a lot from them and they are also great stress relievers. On the other hand, my worst habit is artificial sweetener consumption – once I started years ago, I’ve been consistently adding them to beverages, foods, etc, but I’d like to cut down on them and switch to something more natural.
Thanks for the shout out. My habits program is going very well. Let’s hope I say the same a year from now.
Ok, you’re eating fruit after meals, but you tempt us with those chocolate cup thingies with the nuts and now I just want the recipe! Thanks, Kath. LOL!
In regard to #5, I use the motto “touch it once,” especially when it has to do with organizing mail, work tasks and especially the kid’s school reminders/backpacks, etc.
Oh I like this motto!
Bridget Black says
Love this, Kath! Read your moms post, as well. This is invigorating!!
Your M-Th reading nights is something I’m totally getting behind!!
Two ideas for you! I’ve had a kidney transplant (19 years ago!) so pills are a staple in my routine multiple times a day with postnatals now. One idea — take them at night as you are brushing your teeth. Keep a glass in the bathroom and keep them with your other nightly items so you cant ignore them. Secondly, I keep a tiny decorative bowl on the counter (on a cake stand where my evoo + s+p live) and add my vitamins that I want to take throughout the day. I find I chip away at them throughout the day as they are right under my nose instead of hidden in an upstairs drawer somewhere!
Hope these help!!
Great tips – thank you! (And hope your kidneys are doing well <3 )
My best habit is reading. I used to be bad about it and would only read when I knew I had a good chunk of time to dedicate to it. Now I just take whatever book I’m reading with me everywhere and read 5, 15, 30 minutes whenever I can find it. I also make time in the evenings to read at least an hour a day. It’s my happy place.
My worst habit is my lack of mopping. I vacuum daily and clean everything else, but for some reason mopping is low on my list (or non-existent some times). I’m working on breaking it down and mopping the first floor one day and the second floor another day (each week). I think what stresses me out is our house, while not huge, has a lot of wood floors and takes forever to do in one fell swoop. Breaking it up like this might motivate me to actually do it. Plus, who doesn’t love nice clean floors!
I hate mopping too! I got the Bona mop with the washable pads and it’s the best one I’ve had and consistently used.
I really need to make exercise a habit again once school starts back! I have fallen off the wagon with the kids home this summer! I need to figure out a work around for that for next summer.
My dietician told me that supplements aren’t necessary if you have a balanced diet. Maybe focus on a better overall diet including fermented foods and you won’t need the supplements? Just an idea!
I agree with you! But since I’m still nursing I do want to be extra careful. I also think a probiotic is something most people should consider. And I take vitamin D because I have a history of low vit. D.
My one habit I’ve been doing this year is picking up and getting stuff done that’ll only take a couple minutes. Like putting shoes and coats up right away or a chore that can takes a minute. That way it doesn’t pile up throughout the day and I feel calmer. Doing those little things right away is quicker and means I don’t spend an hour or so cleaning after the kids are in bed. Also, it encourages my kids too because they see the house is picked up and I work hard on it!
Another tip for remembering vitamins–I had such a hard time until I bought an old-school pill box (with days of the week). There’s something about emptying each day that makes me more motivated and helps me remember!
I have one and love it!!
I love this. My habit is getting out and getting the exercise in even if the kids are with me. I always wait until they are perfectly occupied and well with three that never seems to happen, so now, we do it together, or before they are up. I also love the reading more, and the sweets craving.
Totally agree! Just do it. We should be doing pushups and lunges while we play on the floor with the kids!
Marie Feldman says
My favorite habit is taking time to do journaling about my day and my daughter’s day every night. That way I can look back throughout the years to see the way our lives developed and it has also been helpful for remembering dates/issues for health appointments (namely developmental milestones when my daughter, now 9, was younger). My daughter will also basically have a book to read that is all about her life when she gets older, that is if she can read my handwriting!!
I also found that learning the science about habits very interesting/life changing (!) and had to become very well acquainted with it when I published my second book: Healthy Habits For Managing and Reversing Prediabetes. (2019) I would be happy to mail you a courtesy copy if you would like 🙂
Marie Feldman RD, CDE, CHC, Author:
Healthy Habits For Managing & Reversing Prediabetes (Adams Media 2019)
The Big Book of Diabetes Recipes (Adams Media January 2016)
Love your journaling idea! And congrats on the book! I bet my mom would love to talk to you more about it 🙂
I relate to the chip overload and something sweet. I love both of your strategies for changing those habits and plan to implement those too. Thanks!
You should try the app Streak. It’s for daily habit reminders and you set your own habits and see how many days in a row you’re consistent! https://streaksapp.com/
Laurie Gannon says
I’ve been horrible about taking supplements for years. I finally joined the Care/of band wagon and it’s been great! I enjoy opening my packet up every morning. And they are easy to pack up when I am on the road. I can really say “Hey, Mom! I’m taking my vitamins!!!”
They’re on my list to try!
Trying to read more, which means putting down my phone in the evening, so hard! Best overall habit, albeit a bit inconsistent, I keep a thankfulness journal with one liners of everything from sunshine to experiences to simple everyday things. So cool to look back over past 3 yrs of big and little things to be thankful for and turns around my day quickly – almost up to 1000!! I keep the vitamins by the coffee, never miss morning coffee/tea so rarely miss the vitamins ? Need to work on the procrastination, running my own business is flexible but I also put things off waaaay too long instead of just doing them.
This just reminded me I need to work on quitting my Coldbrew coffee every day after lunch. Sometimes I’m at a coffee shop working but most of the time I’m home and just love the little pick me up from the caffiene!! Always working on reading more and wasting less time on social media and trash tv! Great post!