11 Habits to Change in 2019 for a New Lifestyle
When you think of a healthy lifestyle, you think of eating salads and sweating all day, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be like that.
As 2019 rolls around, a new feeling of promising gains, weight loss, and financial prosperity. The hope and desire to better ourselves are never higher, and it’s a fresh start to break old unhealthy habits.
If improving your health is one of your resolutions for 2019, you’ve come to the right article.
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Let’s harness that motivation and start making progress to long-lasting powerful changes that will improve your mental and physical health.
So what are these habits to change? Check them out.
11 Habits to Change in 2019 for a New Lifestyle
#1 – Quit Thinking Resolution
The first thing we think about is starting a resolution to do something. Instead of saying that and ultimately not following through on your wishes, it’s time to take a different perspective.
If you want lasting success, you’re going to have to create habits that foster a healthy lifestyle — it doesn’t mean giving up when you slip up or are facing difficult times.
This year, be bold and ditch taking a resolution. Instead, use this energy and motivation to cultivate habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life. If you can build consistent, healthy habits, you will be able to reach whatever health and fitness goal you’d like to achieve.
What we do every day matters more than what we do every once in a while.
#2 – Find Your Weak Points
It’s not hard to know what “healthy” is — you exercise, eat plenty of fresh foods, drink plenty of water, and you get enough sleep. While a lot of us think that we are doing a good job at being healthy, studies suggest that only a small percentage of adults are actually “healthy.”
But what’s healthy?
Researchers looked at four key factors of healthfulness, which included:
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy BMI of 18-25, or successfully losing weight
- Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily
- Exercising 30 minutes or more five times per week
So how do you stack up?
While all of these are important markers to look at, there’s more than just checking off a few boxes and saying you are healthy. The positive attitude, self-love, taking care of your mental health, and fostering a healthy social life are all aspects that need to be covered, too.
Everyone has things they need to work on — pick a couple of aspects you need to work on and start working down your list.
#3 – Find What Works for You
One of the hardest things about maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to find what works for you — what works with your schedule, your tastes, and your nutritional needs. Being able to figure yourself out and apply what you know to your personal life is the key.
What situations are the most distracting? What is most helpful to you and encourage you to do your best? You have to know what your goal is before you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle.
Keep the reason you started fresh in your head. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get fit? Do you have grandchildren you’d like to be able to play with? Do you want to be in shape for your daughter’s wedding?
Find what works for you and make it happen.
#4 – You Need to Change Old Habits
If you take a look at your life, many of the things you are doing out of habit. Brushing your teeth in the morning, waking up at a certain time for work, driving the same way to work… all of it is a habit.
Changing your behavior means ultimately changing your habits. You need to be brutally honest with yourself and figure out where you spend your time. Do you grab a soda every day at the gas station before you go to work? What about that bag of chips you’ve bought at lunch every day for a year?
Finding and making these small adjustments add up in a big way. Start packing healthy snacks for work, carry around a nice refillable water bottle so you can drink water throughout the day.
It’s not hard work, it just takes disrupting and breaking bad habits. Breaking these bad habits is the hardest and most uncomfortable part of getting healthy.
#5 – Small Steps Make Big Changes
Making a huge change right at the start of your journey is not going to help you achieve your goals. Instead of the overwhelming feeling of such a long task, make small changes along the way to make a huge impact.
If you haven’t exercised in a long time and you are out of shape, it’s normal to feel intimidated to go to a gym or jump head-first into an exercise program. Try to start small and find the least-daunting exercise you can do — taking a stroll around your block or doing five minutes of jumping jacks and marching around the house are two examples.
Whatever you can do, do it daily. Eventually, it will feel like a normal part of your day… and this is when things get fun. You’ll be able to start adding more and more and crave the grind to get better.
If you have a setback, don’t worry. Remember, these are slow changes to habits that could have started decades ago — don’t beat yourself up, and don’t go back to your old ways.
The goal is to create habits that make it easier to achieve your goals.
#6 – Quit Thinking Life and Work are Separate
A long time ago I changed my idea that work and life are two separate things — and that helped me lose a lot of weight.
If you take a look at any successful entrepreneur, they will claim that a work-life balance is just a myth. It feels like we are always juggling life and stress, our obligations start piling up, and we just can’t keep up with it all.
No matter what your work situation is, quit focusing on the boundaries on where work starts and ends and where your personal life begins. There’s no reason you can’t focus on making healthy and consistent positive choices that reflect your responsibilities and goals.
Take the extra time it will require to pack your lunch, make sure you have snacks, and make sure you have plenty of water to drink at all times. The less resistance you have to making a healthier choice, the harder it is to fall back into old habits.
#7 – You Need to Eat Healthier
The old saying “you are what you eat” seems to be true. You see, what we eat has a direct impact on our health.
I’m not saying you should skip exercise, but losing weight starts in the kitchen. Exercise is what stokes your metabolism, improves your heart health, and helps you burn more calories.
You can’t out-exercise a poor diet. I’ve tried and it ended poorly. No matter how many hours I spent on the step mill (in one session) I just couldn’t keep up with my reckless eating. Choosing unhealthy foods can lead to huge health problems like obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, make sure you eat a nutritious diet that supports a healthy lifestyle. Start cutting back on your sugar intake, eat more fruits and veggies, and try not to eat convenience foods.
You don’t have to give up all of your naughty desires, but you need to practice some control.
My dad was a healthy weight and died of a massive heart attack because he lived off of McDonald's, Reese Cups, and Coca-Cola. Every time you have a stomach ache, are bloated, or having a sugar crash, ask yourself “what caused this?”
#8 – Learn to Cook
Learning to cook has been one of the best things I’ve ever invested time into. It’s time that I can spend basically meditating, creating foods I love, and it gives me a chance to eat fresh renditions of my favorite dishes.
While cooking does take some time to master, starting with the basics like learning how to cook chicken, beef, and pork is a good start.
Get a set of good knives and a sharpener. You can get the automatic sharpeners if you don’t want to learn how to sharpen your knife like a chef. I started using the steel rod to sharpen knives and it’s a stress reliever for me.
Also pick up a decent set of pots and pans, a cutting board, and some Tupperware containers. Don’t skimp on the pots and pans, you will use them a lot.
#9 – Get More Sleep
I never understood why people make is a contest to see who can get less sleep. It’s basically saying “I’m the unhealthiest.”
Sleep plays a vital role in our health and well-being — even if we refrain from smoking, eat healthy foods, and get exercise. When we sleep, our body repairs itself. Along with repairing our body, it also helps with brain function. Having an ongoing sleep deficiency raises your risk for a host of chronic health problems.
Make sleep a priority and quit making a joke about not getting any sleep. You’re only hurting yourself.
#10 – Learn to Manage Your Stress
We live in a highly active, high-pressure environment that everyone struggles to keep up with. This stress accumulates and it’s important to remember what we can and cannot control.
It’s simple — getting a flat tire heading to work is out of your control… but getting a bad work review for mediocre work is in your control.
Start managing your stress by picking your battles. There are a lot of things we can’t control, so when an unexpected stressful event pops up, you will be able to relax enough to solve the problem at hand.
Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and exercise all help reduce your stress levels. Pick your battles wisely and live a less-stressful life. Your heart will thank you for it.
#11 – Be More Present
There’s not a lot of fitness articles that hit on the point of focusing on the present. While we get engorged with our everyday lives, we forget to enjoy the moment we are experiencing.
I’m certainly no expert, but two things I’ve learned from losing 120 pounds twice is that anxiety comes from thinking about our future, but wanting to control it, and stress comes from our response to something — not what happens to us.
I’ve been to seven funerals, my family quit talking to me, and my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she now resides at a facility. My year has been a mess, but focusing on my goals, what I can control, and executing day after day has helped me stay in a somewhat healthy mind state, and has allowed me to keep losing weight.
Take the time throughout the day to appreciate the moment you are in. The sound of laughter, the way the sun feels when it hits your face… all of it. Taking the time to enjoy each part of your day can help you step back and enjoy the process.
Wrapping It Up
Many fitness coaches and professionals all can agree that you have to learn to love the process, not the end. If you can enjoy the day to day grind, the discipline it takes to live a healthy lifestyle, and you take a moment for yourself, you can and will achieve your goals.
If there’s anything you should take from this article is that you can achieve whatever health-related goal you want to achieve. All it takes to achieve your goals is to replace habits that aren’t supporting that lifestyle with ones that are.
You don’t have to give up all of the foods you like, you just have to eat healthier foods most of the time. Know how many calories you need to eat and stick to it, no excuses.
Instead of completely eliminating foods from your diet, implement the 80/20 rule — that is, 80% of your daily calories should come from nutritious sources, while 20% can come from whatever you want. I eat around 2000 calories and I save 400 calories to eat whatever I’d like.