Building Healthy Habits
How do we support safe practices? Safety includes building healthy habits. A habit is often described as a recurrent, typically unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition. It can be difficult to stick with what we consider to be healthy habits if we don’t provide ourselves enough time and discipline to develop these positive behaviours. Many of us live busy lives with complicated schedules, which can make it hard to prioritize healthy lifestyle commitments and goals. To overcome this, here are a few strategies that allow us to lead a healthy lifestyle:
- Defining your goals (broad, achievable outcomes),
- Coming up with a plan,
- Following through,
- Working through setbacks, and
- Finding time for relaxation.
We all have different goals, so come up something that works for you and satisfies whatever changes you are looking to make. These don’t need to be quantitative or related to specific objectives but rather should be something that is doable and, ideally, enjoyable.
For me, I play soccer a couple times a week and wanted to improve my cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance in my legs. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by saying that I had to complete a certain number of workouts a week or run/bike a specific length of distance. (This might lead to your activities being seen as a chore, or something that you have to do rather than want to do.) I just wanted to get some sort of exercise in each day that would allow me to reach my goal over time. This made it easier for me to achieve my goal, and I have been having success the last four months by walking my dog, lifting weights, riding my bike, and taking spin classes at home.
Now that these activities have become part of my routine, they have become a healthy habit for me. I don’t view them as some sort of task that I need to do, but instead just something that is part of my life that I enjoy. Finally, it is important to find (or make) time for yourself to relax and tune out. It is easier said than done but try to allocate some time each day to give your mind a break. As consultants I think we all understand the importance of this as we have all experienced working long hours for consecutive days.
Check out these habit tracking apps to help you achieve your goals.
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By Steven Svrcek, B.Sc., P.Ag.