It’s time for another challenge! I really struggled coming up with the next challenge, because our accountability group is filled with people who have different goals and needs. Some of the ladies in our group need to lose 100 pounds or more and others just need to tone up or lose those last five pounds.
As I was thinking about what could be helpful to everyone (or at least most folks) I started thinking back on what it was that helped me change my life and it really boiled down to habits. If I was to sum up my health journey in one sentence it would be that I replaced my bad habits with good ones.
For example, I love carbs, like LOVE them! I would pass up a piece of cake for a plate of fries or garlic bread every single day of the week. I also seriously disliked exercise. While is is hard to give up something you love, or start doing something you hate I realized that if I created new habits eventually they would replace the old habits.
It became less like giving up something I loved, and more like learning to like something new. Instead of subtracting something from my life I was adding. It is much easier to add something than it is to take something away.
Based on that principle, for the next five weeks we will be doing a Healthy Habits Challenge. I want you to come up with five healthy habits you can incorporate into your life. You may already be on your way to doing a few of them and that’s okay. I want you to think about things that you really need to do more of or do with more regularity and add those on your list.
Here are my five.
1. Drink more water
Most people don’t drink enough water. For me, this wasn’t a problem until a few years ago, then I got busy and just forgot about it. Not the best idea if you are exercising and sweating a lot. Also, if I’m being honest, drinking a lot of water means numerous trips to the bathroom, and #aintnobodygottimeforthat!
The rule of thumb for the amount of water you drink every day is to drink half of your body weight every day. So if you weigh 160 pounds you should drink 80 ounces of water every day. That’s 10 eight ounce glasses a day for someone who weighs 160 pounds.
I use my blender bottle most days and fill it up several times a day. I like this particular bottle because it has a very tight seal, but that thumb tab opens it easily so I don’t break a nail! Not that my nails are long or even pretty, but I’ve broken many of them trying to get things open.
This bottle is 28 ounces, so I only have to drink a two and a half bottles, which is easy when I have it with me.
2. Get on a sleep schedule
I know that I feel better when I go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. I need less sleep and a feel more rested when I stay on a routine.
However staying on a sleep routine is so hard, especially when you travel once a month! My goal is to be in bed by 10 pm on the weeknights and get up before 6 am. I know that if I can fall asleep before 10:30pm I can get up early and feel great all day.
I’m creating this habit by going to bed a little earlier every night, not watching tv or being on the computer before bed, and trying to read at least one chapter in a book before I go to sleep. Television and electronics actually hurt your ability to fall asleep but man it is easy to get on your phone and check Facebook before bed, isn’t it!
3. Eat a low carb breakfast
For me, I gravitate towards high carb breakfasts, however, we do the bulk of our homeschool in the morning and carb loaded breakfasts seem to lower my energy level by 11 am. I know that if I eat eggs and lean meat or a smoothie for breakfast I feel great until lunch.
I also know that eating tons of carbs for breakfast is one of the quickest ways I put on a few pounds. This is true for me, however it might not be true for anyone else. It is important to track what you are eating and how you feel after you eat, so that you can do what is best for your body.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of making eggs because grabbing a bowl of cereal is so much easier, but I know I feel better when I eat eggs so I need to start making them at least four days a week.
4. Eat two healthy snacks a day
I am not a snacker, so this one has always been a challenge for me. I just don’t like taking the time to eat, however I know that when I have a healthy snack my energy levels stay high and I feel better throughout the day.
It also takes away the “I’m starving” at mealtime feeling so I make better choices instead of quick choices (which is usually not the healthiest choice).
5. Exercise at the same time every day
This has been the hardest for me since we have moved to Florida. I used to be on an exercise routine and I rarely missed a day, because it was part of my schedule, just like taking a shower or homeschooling the kids.
Since our schedule has been wacky in general since moving here I’ve struggled to get in a good routine. I still exercise but it hasn’t been daily because I can’t seem to find the best time to make it a habit.
I really need to exercise five to six times a week to keep prevent back pain and migraines. While I prefer to work out in the morning, that might not be the best for my schedule right now so I need to figure out when the best time for exercise is for me.
How the challenge works
This is a five week challenge, where we are going to focus on each habit for one week. When the new week begins we will continue with the previous habit, plus add in a new habit. Hopefully this will give you time to get a good routine going with each habit so that by the end of the five weeks are you moving towards some awesome changes in your life.
I’ve created a very basic Healthy Habits printable if you want to have your goals on paper. Please, please, please print and fill it out. Writing things down is a great way to get things done! Saying you are going to do something is one thing, but writing it down takes it one step further.
List out your five healthy habits and then decide what order you want to work on them.
My advice is to start with the easiest habit first. Get your small win, so you can move on to something harder and get a bigger win. Then list three ways you can succeed starting your new habit. You only need to list out your three ways to succeed when you start that week (although all my over achievers can do that today too!).
The Healthy Habits Challenge starts today! Start making your list and get to work on your first healthy habit!
Follow along on social media with the hashtag #fithealthyhabits and don’t forget to join our Fit for Good community!