Do you spend your whole day watching videos or movies, one after another? Do you go to work with the intention to come back home as soon as you can just to spend the rest of your day cooped up in your room using your smartphone until your head starts hurting and you have to go to bed?
Do you wonder every single day what you are doing with your life? If yes, then you are living an unhealthy lifestyle. Moreover, According to a new study from Oregon State University, 97% of U.S. adults live an unhealthy lifestyle.
If you are wondering what a healthy lifestyle is, it more or less consists of days where you do the task you need to do to move toward your goals while eating healthy food, doing regular exercise, being around people who are positive, and having fun as you do meaningful things.
The difference between a healthy and unhealthy lifestyle is only this much.
On one side, you live every aspect of your life with all the positive energy you can muster. On the flip side, you just live as you indulge in immediate gratification while running away full time from things you find meaningful, things that require effort.
You hate using your phone too much, eating junk food, not exercising, being alone, and having nothing exciting planned for the weekend, but you still spend week after week this way. (This is your clue that you are living an unhealthy lifestyle and you need a change.)
However, going from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one is not that easy. It’s literally like walking a thousand-mile road one step at a time. That’s why most people are never able to defeat and change their unhealthy lifestyle.
In this article, you will find 7 habits that will help you in moving toward a healthy lifestyle. These habits will equip you with the necessary tools to make the transition.
7 Simple Habits
Keep in mind, your lifestyle is not going to change overnight. You will adopt these habits and have results as you make mistakes. However, What’s important is consistency. Even if you make a mistake, don’t spend days brooding over it.
Understand your mistake, make plans for future success, and execute the plans with all the motivation and courage you can find.
1. Habit of Goal Setup: Going Somewhere then-No Where
You have a long list of things you need to do for healthy living, however, you need a strong reason to stick with them in this age of distraction & stimulation.
Why would you read a book when you can just watch funny cat videos? That’s why a healthy lifestyle starts with a goal.
Humans are aiming creatures. We feel most happy, stress-free, and productive when we are progressively realizing a worthy goal. Even the act of setting a goal releases dopamine.
However, If you have no goals, then you have no positive emotions either. That is one of the reasons why you spend so much time watching movies and videos.
If you have no goal, You also have no specific direction you should move toward.
A study published in Nature suggests that dopamine not only spikes when we set a goal for ourselves but also when we’re close to achieving that goal.
So, there is no healthy lifestyle without a goal. If you don’t have a goal, you will not have a meaningful direction to move toward in your life. Hence, it won’t matter which direction you choose. Every direction will be equally significant or insignificant.
Moreover, a meaningful goal is your ultimate weapon against immediate gratification.
Once you have a goal, you won’t do certain things because they are not aligned with your ideal. And the things you will have without a goal are negative thoughts, distractions, and no protection against them. So, set a goal.
This video by Jordan Peterson may help you in finding a worthwhile goal. This is a very powerful video.
Task: Set goals in every aspect of your life, whether it’s fitness, diet, or work. By setting goals, you will be very productive & pleased with yourself.
2. Meditation: Taking Control of Your Mind
We are literally a generation of people with more resources than any generation and goals bigger than any generation, but we also are a generation with distractions so powerful that we never are able to act on our goals wholeheartedly.
It’s like we know what we want, but we lack the focus to take it. This was not always the case. It’s just now we have so many pleasant ways to distract ourselves we never actually get down to doing what’s meaningful to us.
All this greatness, all this potential all of us possess, is wasted on watching cat videos. There is nothing wrong with watching cat videos, but if it ruins your goal, then it may not be the right step forward.
If by some miracle from tomorrow onwards you can only eat healthy food or find healthy food and you can’t use your phone more than you have to and you have nothing better to do than working on your goal, won’t that be a great day.
In brief, the problem is the level of awareness. Awareness to make the right decision. To act on what is important to reach our goal at the moment, then acting on what we think is important due to our desire for immediate gratification and should be addressed later.
This is where meditation comes in. Meditation will help you in being mindful. You will get better at controlling your feelings and emotions, which will help you in eliminating negative behavior.
Meditation will strengthen the thinking part of your brain, making it strong enough to remain rational, decisive, and capable of taking the long view.
In a way, meditation will help you recognize and establish the difference between you, your mind, and your body. Here’s an article you can use to learn how to meditate.
Task: Meditate twice a day for at least 5-10 minutes. All you have to do is sit straight and repeat a mantra (OM) in your mind. Just try it for a week, and you will see the difference in your behavior.
3. Sleep for 7 Hours
I understand you are busy and you have too much on your plate. But if you are trying to manage your life while depriving yourself of sleep, then you should take a step back and reevaluate your decision.
You see, sleep is one of the most significant tasks you can do every day to keep your mental and physical health in check, keep your productivity high, maintain your weight, and for muscle growth.
Even if you are busy, you should not reduce your sleep to less than 7 hours. Since no amount of meditation, diet, or exercise can replace sleep.
Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, etc says he sleeps for 6 to 6.5 hours every day, and sleeping in is not an option since it affects his performance. If he can find time, so can you.
If your current routine doesn’t allow for sleep of at least 7 hours per night, then you should consider creating a new schedule.
Task: As you make progress toward your goal, your routine will change. However, always ensure that you get enough time for recreation and sleep daily.
4. Plan Your Day in The Morning
You should always have a plan for the day. You can create a simple plan and follow it for months, weeks, or you can play your day daily.
However, your best bet to be productive would be to plan your day daily in the morning. First of all, it will take less than 10 minutes to do it, and you will have a custom plan for the rest of your day.
While planning your day, Make sure you plan the hardest thing you need to do first and then decrease the difficulty as the day goes on. My daily routine is usually like this: Wake up, meditate, plan the day, and then follow the plan.
Moreover, no matter what happens, once you create a plan, you stick to it unless outside events force you to make changes in your plan. Just follow the plan to the last detail.
If your plan requires you to workout out for one hour. Then you will work out even if it means you are going to do every exercise half-heartedly. If your plan says no Instagram, then you should not open the app no matter what.
Don’t let distractions seduce you into believing that checking your Instagram feed for a second is not going to make any difference. Moreover, make sure that you allocate a proper amount of time throughout the day for recreation.
Some tasks may take more time than you thought. In such a case, you can make changes to your plan at the moment. However, make sure that you perform all your tasks, even if it means doing a few tasks just for a few minutes.
Task: Wake up, meditate, and plan your day.
5. Set a Limit to How Much phone You Will Use Per Day
There are many ways to look at a smartphone. But if you are a young adult trying to reach your goal and do something meaningful with your life, There is no better way to describe a smartphone than as a manifestation of pure distraction.
Studies have shown that cell phones are so distracting that the mere presence of a phone, even when they are switched off, is enough to reduce our thinking capacity, pull our attention away from current tasks.
Moreover, If you read more articles on cell phones and their negative influence on mental health, the more you will be convinced that one of the primary culprits of all your problems is the shiny box you carry with you all the time.
Think about it! Cell phones reduce our ability to focus, social media we use on our phones makes us FOMO, dissatisfied, antisocial, isolated, inadequate, and so on.
Experts say adults should limit screen time outside of work to less than two hours/day, But how much do you use it? I used to use the phone for at least 5-7 hours every day, and even now, if I am not focused or feeling well, I go back to my old habits.
A smartphone can steal your time from you by the minute if you are not aware, alert. Moreover, it will overstimulate your mind making you less interested in difficult tasks.
If you are a phone addict, I understand what you are going through. I am an addict too, at least, I consider myself one. I know once you tap into the phone, you literally can burn hours without even realising it, and the emotional burden is too much to bear.
The best thing you can do is delete useless apps that you spend the most time on (use them on your laptop if you have to) and install apps to limit phone usage.
Task: Decide how many hours you will use your phone, What you will watch on your phone every day, and then do it. (Meditation will help you in dealing with phone addiction.)
6. Eat Clean, Drink More Water
Consuming a healthy diet, drinking enough water, and avoiding junk food sums up healthy eating for a healthy lifestyle. However, You should consider consulting a dietican for a healthy meal plan suitable for you.
In general, consuming fruits and vegetables, seafood, variety of lean protein foods, whole grains, etc., daily is considered healthy eating. Moreover, consuming a healthy diet is essential for maintaining healthy body weight.
In 2020, 2 billion adults (39% of the adult global population) were overweight. So, if you want to keep your weight in check, stay away from junk food and sugary drinks and fuel yourself with organic food.
You can use a BMI calculator to find out your BMI (If your BMI is above 25 kg/m2 , you are overweight). You can use an ideal weight calculator to calculate your ideal weight and how much weight you need to lose.
If you want to lose weight, follow a calorie deficit. Reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories. This much calorie deficit is sustainable and healthy. Combine calorie deficit with an exercise routine mentioned below, and you can lose up to 4-5 lbs per month.
If calorie deficit is not working, You can try the keto diet or intermittent fasting for weight loss. The last time I followed the keto diet, I was still in college (2020). I lost 24.7 lbs in 47 days. Here’s an article on How to Start Keto Diet, 10-Day Keto Diet Meal Plan, you can use to follow the keto diet.
You can get a custom keto diet meal plan from here. This plan will be tailored to your weight loss goal and food preferences. Here’s a 7-Day Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan you can use to follow intermittent fasting.
You can use cronometer app to track your calorie intake, nutrition, biometrics, and more.
Task: Consume a healthy diet, drink more water, and avoid fast food. If you are overweight, follow calorie deficit, keto diet, or intermittent fasting to lose weight.
7. Follow this Workout Routine
Even if you are super busy, you can use this 10-minute workout routine to tone your entire body (Exercising is one of the healthiest habits you can have):
- Jumping Jacks: 60 seconds
- 30-second break
- Burpees: 60 seconds
- 30-second break
- Bicep curls: 60 seconds
- 30- second break
- Squats: 60 seconds
- 30-second break
- Shoulder press: 60 seconds
- 30-second break
- Crunches:6 60 seconds
- 30-second break
- Burpees: 60 seconds
- Rest for 5 minutes, repeat if you have more time
During the 60-second interval, perform as many reps as you can. To perform shoulder presses or bicep curls, you can use lightweight dumbells like this one or you can use two water bottles of the same size full of water.
Task: Exercise for 10-minutes every day. You can use the workout routine mentioned above.
These habits are simple but will require an enormous effort to put into practice. If you are prone to procrastination, this article on How to Stop Procrastination may help.
Keep in mind, between your desire to change your life and taking action to change your life stands resistance. Resistance is a wall of negative emotions and distractions that builds up in your mind the moment you try to act on your goal or anything productive.
As a result, you won’t always feel motivated to do the right thing. So, do it even when you don’t feel like it.
Moreover, you will make mistakes following these habits. However, don’t quit and keep moving forward, keep practicing these habits, even if for just a few minutes daily. By staying consistent, you will sow seeds of positive habits that in time will grow.
P.S Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article on Healthy Habits, feel free to share it. Moreover, leave a question down below in the comment section if you have any.
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