• Dr. Jim

Developing Healthy Habits

Healthy habits are those which I believe we all want to have but sometimes struggle to establish. They are the actions most people know they probably should do but may not always follow through with at the frequency desired. So, in order to help move the needle I am going to give a few tips on how to get started with some of the simpler habits I believe anyone can handle.

The process of establishing habits is far easier when you make your habit cues visible. If you're asking the question, what is a habit cue, let me explain. A habit "cue" is a notification or signal that will lead you to develop a feeling or temptation to take an action. For instance, if you see you're running shoes, you may immediately think to yourself, I know I'll feel better if I go for a run so I'm going to run In this case the shoes were your habit cue that lead you to consider and hopefully you would go for that run!

1 - Water

If you want to drink more water consider doing one of the following:

--> set a glass of water on the bathroom or kitchen counter so you drink it right after you wake up. You will see the glass when you wake up and it will serve as a "cue" for you to drink your water.

--> Before you go to bed, fill up the water you intend to take with you the next day and be sure to set it out by your keys, it will be impossible to miss it and setting the habit will make certain you always have it ready to go.

2 - Fruit/Vegetables/Healthy Items

If you want to eat more of a certain item, give yourself a visual cue that stands out:

--> I'll use fruit as an example. Go buy or use a large serving bowl and load it up with the fruit you wish to consume. Next, take the serving bowl and place right in the middle of the counter where it can't be missed. Every time you walk by the counter you will see the bowl and it will serve as a cue to eat your fruit.

3 - Exercise

If more exercise is your goal consider one of the following:

--> Set your clothes and shoes right inside the front door for when you get home work so that you are unable to get past the door without seeing them.

--> Set your workout clothes on the bathroom counter so that when you wake up in the morning

Whatever the health habit is that you want to establish, set yourself up for success by making sure you can always see what you want to begin doing. Habits don’t just happen, they are slowly established over time. We build our daily habits by following cues which initiate a feeling that leads to an action and produces a result. The habit finally forms over a period of time where we’ve utilized a cue, taken action and produced a result many many many times.

Start building healthy habit’s by giving yourself loads of healthy cues.

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