How to Build Healthy Habits That Turn Into a Sustainable Healthy Life.

So one of the best things I have ever done for myself is create healthy habits. Mahatma Gandhi said,
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” And I 1000% agree.

But I didn't always have a healthy life. My life in high school involved Marijuana on the regular-not good. I've been lucky enough to be slender naturally, so my life in college consisted of BAGS of those individually wrapped Reeses being eaten, no workout regimen, and a lack of sleep due to papers and alcohol. 

My mental wellness has never been particularly healthy either. I've always been a "glass half empty" girl. I've always been a self-sabotager. And my temper and selfishness have always dictated my life.

But then I fell in love. And suddenly, my take on the world, and myself, changed.

My relationship with my dad is weird because it's nonexistent and really always has been. But the few memories I have I feel like are always him speaking words of wisdom to me.  One of those memories I have is him telling me that "love makes you fat." He wasn't wrong.

When I fell in love with Matt I was 22, in my prime, living it up. Going out every weekend, no sleep schedule, eating trash all day. So take that lifestyle, and then add in all the cuddle sessions, (hence lack of activity), ice cream trips, and pizza date nights, and my naturally lean body gained 20+ pounds and my mental health went downhill with it.

My confidence plummeted. I was having difficulty navigating my feelings, due to always being selfish and carefree and then, for the first time in my life, being in love. My world became him.

Before I knew it I had lost myself. I didn't even know myself. The years before him I was stuck in a relationship I hated and was miserable in. After that I was wild and energetic and reckless. Thinking I'd figure everything out "one day." And then suddenly, there he was. Just inserted into my life. Without me looking, or asking, or expecting. And I had no idea what to do with it.

So for a year or so I tried like Ray Charles to find the light. Keeping my hands out in front of me hoping I'd stumble across some miraculous answer and also stay away from anything sharp and painful. I joined a workout program. That worked but also didn't work for me. I started "eating healthy." That REALLY didn't work for me. I started trying to paint, and I picked my guitar back up, and I joined a boutique as a brand ambassador and I did all of these things and NOTHING was sticking.

I didn't feel good. I didn't look good. But in my head I was doing everything I could do and there was nothing else I could do, and maybe I was just one of the unlucky ones?

Then, one day, I stumbled across a quote. It said, “So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.” Have you seen that quote? I know you've seen that quote. This quote made SO MUCH SENSE to me. It was so simple. So that's what I started to do. 

Instead of taking on overwhelmingly amounts of hobbies and self-care and coping skills and health and wellness, I picked one small, attainable goal at a time, and worked on it. Then, I'd add another, and then another, and so on. I have now been doing this for years. As a result of this I have accumulated a PLETHORA of good things in my life. I have many, many things that make me happy. I feel good physically and mentally. I know who I am. And the best part is that I don't have to look back and say I removed anything, I literally just kept adding. 

I thought I would complete this post by telling you the most beneficial thing I have learned over the years as far as goals and my wellness, followed by a list of just some of the good habits I have added into my life.

So the biggest thing that's helped me over the years with goal setting and being motivated and sustaining the habits I start to implement, is making sure that they're specific, measurable, attainable, and that I'm committed to them. 

For example, "I'm going to eat healthy" is not an efficient or sustainable lifestyle habit. It's too broad. Those were the kinds of goals I was setting in the beginning that weren't working for me. They're overwhelming. And you have no idea where they begin or end.

Breaking this goal up into something more effective is where the healthy habits start. So I would turn the above goal into, "I am going to drink 4 bottles of water a day, every day, for a month." It's specific as to how many, it's measurable as to how I will know when I've reached it, it's something I can easily implement, and it still falls under my idea to be healthy. Thus, a healthy habit is born. Once this habit is consistent for your time limit, you then add another, the same way.

An example of a self-care habit: "I am going to light candles and take a bubble bath every Sunday at 7 p.m. for a month." 

A school/work habit: "I am going to study every evening for 30 minutes right after dinner for three months." <--this is a current habit I just implemented two weeks ago and have stuck to.

And now a list, of just some of the healthy goals I've turned into habits that create my lifestyle currently. These are just ideas for things you can start implementing into your daily routine, that I began adding into mine and found happiness and wholeness with. Let your good things grow!

20 Healthy Habits

  1. Wake up every morning at 5 am. Being up for the sunrise is magical, and worth it, I promise.
  2. Do at least a 20 minute workout within one hour of being up, before you start your day.
  3. Drink your favorite smoothie for breakfast.
  4. Start your morning with reading a chapter from your favorite book or a post from your favorite blog.
  5. Have a spa day with yourself at least once a week. I pick Sundays. Candles, bubble bath, face masks, music, nail polish, and maybe even a book.
  6. Drink your favorite beverage daily and also slowly. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and taking my time to drink it is one of my favorite parts of the day. 
  7. Write in your journal. I set a goal for this to do weekly, I started out doing it daily and wasn't able to sustain that, so I adjusted my goal. 
  8. Clean your makeup brushes weekly.
  9. Assign a room in your house to each day of the week and clean it accordingly.
  10. Make a deadline for your snacking in the evenings. 
  11. Choose how many treat meals you want to allow yourself a week. (I do two). 
  12. Grocery shop on the same day, every week. 
  13. Drink half your body weight in ounces, a day.
  14. Spend 5% of your monthly income on YOU, once a month.
  15. Allow yourself wiggle room to eat bad and watch trash TV. THIS IS PART OF WELLNESS. Doing nothing.
  16. Find three things you're grateful for in every day. 
  17. Identify one lesson learned every month.
  18. Make at least one plan to do one thing every weekend.
  19. Spend time with just your friends at least once a month.
  20. Set at least one goal every week for yourself, to be accomplished by the following week. 

So there you go! 20 healthy habits that you might like to start incorporating into your daily life. Take those ideas, apply the goal setting formula from above, and voila! Healthy, sustainable, habits. These 20 things are all things I have slowly but surely added into my life over the years. Don't overdo it! Pick one, get really comfortable with it, and add another.

I'm constantly setting new goals for myself every week and month. It's how we grow, and learn, and change. Not to mention it feels awesome. Hope y'all enjoyed this one! It was a long one! Let me know if you have questions or comments, I'd love to hear!


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