Habits. We all got ’em. How do you use them?
If you’re new to MomToManyGirls, you may not know much about my life and health problems. I have not documented it in any blog posts, though I may allude to it occasionally when offering suggestions about habits that have helped me deal with various health problems.
I’ve been updating my website to better reflect the direction I’m taking this year with developing habits, namely for improving my health. So, last week, I rewrote my About page. This mini-autobiography details the beginning of my health challenges which started roughly nine years ago. It is not all-inclusive, for instance I don’t mention the dozens of kidney stones I’ve passed, but it does go back to the beginning to help explain why I’m passionate about changing and developing habits to support a healthier lifestyle.
We are bombarded everywhere with new diets, workout plans, weight loss regimens, and miracle supplements. While many of them may have some value, none of them substitute for an overall healthy lifestyle.
The very definition of lifestyle means the way in which a person lives.
If you eat a low carb diet and smoke, your lifestyle isn’t a healthy balance. Likewise, if you do a high cardio workout several times a week but follow up eating a bag of Oreos (cough, cough I may have done this once or twice), then you can’t expect your health to improve or even to remain good.
By taking the 12 Steps to a Healthier You Journey, you can lay the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.
Losing weight or getting off medications are not the goals, though they may likely be a by-product of being more active and making better choices. It comes down to personal responsibility. Doctor(s), alone, cannot save or extend a life, except in some well-defined situations, such as an accident or a sudden health crisis.
I’ve heard so many doctors and health professionals express their frustration with patients who won’t lift a finger to improve their health, from taking their medications as directed to performing even simple tasks.
One friend, whose daughter was badly burned in an accident, said she was overwhelmed with the amount of wound care she needed to do at home, but then during checkups the doctors were ecstatic at how well the burns were healing. She admitted she was only doing maybe half of what they had suggested, and they told her they recommend way more than absolutely necessary in hopes that patients will do just some of it.
How sad that someone won’t do everything within their power to support recovery for themselves or their child. We might self-righteously call that person selfish or lazy. However, if we look closely at ourselves, we are not always so different.
Our everyday choices set the trajectory of our lives. And those choices are largely determined by habits.
You may think developing new habits is too much work or feel overwhelmed with the thought of figuring out a new way of doing something. In fact, well-developed habits reduce the stress of everyday life. Eliminating choices frees your mind and emotions from thinking about inconsequential details. When staring at a menu, knowing that you’re not going to need to decide what to drink because you always drink water makes ordering that much easier, not to mention how it benefits your wallet. That’s just a small example, but you get the idea.
Habits define your daily life.
Suppose you think of yourself as a free spirit who doesn’t want to be bound by habits. Go with the flow is your mantra. Right. Stop and consider your day. I bet you can identify at least two or three things you do without thinking every day. It might be a favorite snack or comfy shoes or how you fix your hair. Habits.
Everyone’s life is defined by habits.
Now that we’ve established the presence of habits in everyone’s life, I’m asking you again to consider how your habits affect your health. Taking time each day to establish better habits will eventually pay dividends beyond the minor inconvenience of doing something different for a little while.
After a few weeks of practice, a new habit will become the norm and not an inconvenience.
Join the 12 Steps to a Healthier You Journey by entering your email in the box at the top of the right column. You will get each and every blog post delivered right to your inbox. I’ll encourage you on the journey and give you new ideas for healthy habits. Everyone needs a community to support their goals, and MomToManyGirls is here for you.
Comment below to tell me what healthy habit you’re working on.