Life is a precious gift and so is our health. We should invest in our health and wellness every day in order to live our lives to the fullest and strive to reach our potential. Each and every day we are faced with thousands of choices which can either bring us closer to or lead us further away from being healthier versions of ourselves. Below are five unhealthy habits to leave behind today.
1. “Should-ing” Ourselves
Mindset plays a pivotal role in our overall well-being, happiness and health. Comparing ourselves to others and engaging in the “should” mindset can be detrimental to our self-confidence and overall ability to achieve health and happiness. Regardless of our current situation, we are given the present moment, and our perspective on that moment is a choice. Instead of thinking, “I should have exercised this morning or I should not have had those chocolate chip cookies,” try to reframe your thoughts in a positive way—“The best choices I can make to achieve my goals are to exercise in the morning and limit my intake of sweets.” Our mindset holds the key to our success. Be kind to yourself and be committed to framing your thoughts positively.
2. Making Excuses
This is related to number one, but with a little twist. It’s easy to make excuses for our behavior. Daily situations and convenience may foster environments and habits that do not promote healthy behaviors. For example, it might be habitual for some of us to choose the fries over the steamed broccoli. Substituting the broccoli becomes an intentional choice and we need to go out of our way to make that choice. It is easier to sit on the couch, grab a soda and turn on the television after a long day at work than it is to change into our gym clothes, sneak in a sweat session and end the evening with a nutritious meal. The excuses we use to justify our actions are limitless. And these actions have the potential to bring us closer to or further away from becoming our best selves. The moment we stop making excuses and we start taking ownership of our lives, we will see a shift in our perspective, our lifestyle and our overall well-being.
3. Sitting all day
We’re currently witnessing two disturbing trends—obesity is on the rise and physical activity is on the decline. Due to the sedentary nature of many jobs, it’s easy to get comfortable sitting behind a desk for hours on end. Increase your daily physical activity by using a standing desk and taking a daily afternoon walk. Other ways to increase physical activity throughout the work day include taking the stairs, parking farther away from your building and walking or riding a bike to work. Increased physical activity promotes productivity, health, mental focus and overall well-being. Furthermore, recent science has compared the dangers of sitting to the dangers of smoking. So stand up and start moving!
4. Focusing on your past
One of my mantras for life is—you can’t change what you did, but you can change what you do. It may be tempting to let the past dictate how we behave in the future, but it’s better to let the past teach us how to create our future. Our past does not define who we are; it is merely a path that has gotten us to where we are. Shift gears from focusing on the past to focusing on the future and the actions we can take now to get us where we want to be.
5. Waiting until tomorrow to start
Start doing whatever you aspire to do today, whether it’s quitting smoking, exercising, eating better, getting more sleep or writing in a journal. Whatever it is, stop waiting and start taking action. Far too often, we spend time thinking about what a given situation will be like as opposed to just doing it. Life continues to move, the days continue to pass and we are not promised a tomorrow. Whatever your life goals may be, start today; stop waiting for tomorrow.
So what are you waiting for? Say goodbye to these five habits today and start taking steps toward a healthier, happier you.