Establishing healthy routines and habits to change your life

Chip Oglesby bio photo By Chip Oglesby

60 days!

That’s how many days you’ll need to change your life and establish new healthy habits. That’s only two months. What were you doing two months ago? Probably not thinking and acting on how you can change your life.

For me, it was riding my bike to work everyday. Did I have to do it? No. Did it change my life? Absolutely!

Think about things that are going on in your life right now that you want to change. Maybe you want to get out and exercise, maybe you want to stop smoking, maybe you want to dump that loser that you’re dating and find someone new, maybe you want to quit your job and start your own business?

Imagine the feeling when you actually see all those things come to pass. If you can have the willpower and determination, you can accomplish absolutely anything you want out of life.

Breaking habits are very difficult. The easiest way is to control your environment so that you do not encounter the cue which triggers your habit. It is difficult to break any habit even when you are motivated to do so. If you are ambivalent about breaking it then you will be less likely to succeed.

So until you’re ready to tackle the big obstacles that have been holding you back in life, let’s take a look at some smaller goals you can accomplish.

Exercise more You’ll be amazed what going out for a quick ten minute walk three times a day will do for you. Consider going in the morning before work, ten minutes at lunch and ten minutes when you get home from work. For some people, these times can be the most stressful times of the day. Waking up worrying about bills and life, stress from evil coworkers wearing you down at lunch and leading to stress eat and stress from the commute home at night.

Most people will complain that “I don’t have time to walk” but in reality, you do. You have to decide that this is something that you want to do and that you are ready to take charge of your life. Bonus points if you exercise instead of turning to your favorite addiction.

Always eat breakfast Eating a healthy balanced breakfast is a great way to help establish routines. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be as simple as an egg, slice of avocado and cup of coconut milk. If you’re in a rush, a cup of oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon will stick with you longer and help you get through the winter months.

Always get enough sleep Do you always wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Get into the habit of sleeping between six and eight hours you grumpy gus! Not only does sleep play a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions it also helps you process more information than someone who gets an inadquate amount of sleep.

Brush and floss daily This is a no brainer, right? Brushing and flossing daily help establish great routines and leaves your mouth much cleaner and more kissable. So pump up the jams and get to flossing!

**Keep in touch with friends **How many people do you have in your phone? 60? 80? 100? When was the last time you talked to any of them and it didn’t involve facebook or twitter? Reconnecting with old friends can be tough, but it’s also a great routine when you have a vested interest in their life. Call to say hi once a week, even if you don’t want to. Bonus points if you remember something they tell you!

Drink plenty of water Okay, I’ll admit, drinking water was always tough for me. It just doesn’t taste good, okay? If we were suppose to drink more water, why do we have sweet tea? I had to give that up to start losing weight, but I now carry around a 32 oz bottle of water almost everywhere I go. Yes, I take plenty of bathroom breaks, but that also gives me an excuse to be more active. Bonus points if you order water when you go out to eat with friends.

Eat healthy food Another no brainer, but it’s super simple and relatively cheap to eat healthy food. You don’t have to spend $100 per meal to eat healthy, but consider buying fresh meats from the deli counter or buying you own veggies and steam them. It’s easy to get into the habit of eating one vegetable and piece of fruit with every meal if you try. Bonus points if you go out and buy fruit and veggies when you need them because buying it all at once let’s them go to waste faster.

**Avoid substance abuse **I know readers who love to go out and drink will not like this one, but how many times per week do you smoke or drink to relieve stress? There are other ways to relieve stress that can be more productive. Try running or cardio classes when you get worked up. You’ll be surprised how much it can help.

Keep a journal Okay, I promise I’m not going all eighth grade on you with this one, but keeping a journal is a really helpful way to establish a healthy routine. How many people can you truly trust your feelings with? Maybe less than a handful. We all need an outlet where we can share what’s bothering us in life and a journal might be the perfect opportunity for you. I prefer moleskines. They’re classic, look great and easy to carry around. Bonus points if you get creative with your journal.