Living a healthy lifestyle starts with good habits—but we know habits aren’t always easy to create (and bad ones can be hard to break!).
There are a lot of reasons to make small healthy changes to your day-to-day routine and turn them into good habits. Maybe you want to eat better, get a better sleep, or improve your mental health. Whatever your goal, little changes can make for a big impact.
We won’t lie, starting new healthy habits can be hard work! It takes at least 18 days to form the habit and, on average, 66 days for the behaviour to become automatic. But what that really means is there is no better time to get started (future you will thank you).
Check out our list of small healthy habits to incorporate into your daily routine. (We’re not saying you do allll of these, but pick one or two to get you started.)
10 Healthy Habits To Start Today
- Get your steps in
Experts recommend that you take 10,000 steps per day. Depending on your day, sometimes that goal can seem unrealistic. But ten steps here, 100 steps there, it all adds up! Take a little walk during your lunch break or just take the long way to the fridge to get yourself a healthy snack.
- Check your posture
Be mindful of your posture and regularly remind yourself to correct it when you catch yourself slipping. Bring your shoulders back, straighten your spine, and quit slouching!
If you work at a desk, make sure your chair and computer monitor are adjusted to the right heights so you’re not slouching. Your eyes should meet the top of your computer monitor and your chair should be high enough that you can rest your elbows comfortably on your desk without hunching your shoulders.
Take a couple of minutes in the morning and stretch your muscles out. Stretching a little bit each day will get your blood flowing and help you feel energized to take on your day. Plus, it can greatly improve your flexibility.
- Eat more fruits and veggies
The Canadian Food Guide recommends you fill at least half of your plate with a variety of vegetables. For every meal, add plenty of leafy greens and red or orange vegetables to get the most benefits.
- Drink more water
We will never stop talking about the importance of staying hydrated! It’s recommended that you drink about two litres of water throughout your day, but if the thought of drinking plain water bores you to tears, try and mix it up a little. There are many delicious tea blends out there that can help you enjoy getting the daily recommended two litres of fluids. You can also add things like fresh lemon, cucumber, or mint to your water for added benefits.
Helpful tip: Get in the habit of keeping a reusable water bottle with you and visible so you’re always reminded to take a sip.
- Prepare your lunch the night before
Take 15 minutes every night to make yourself a lunch for the next day. You’re more likely to make healthier food choices rather than go for a convenient but not-so-healthy meal when it comes time for lunch.
Check out these quick, healthy lunch recipes for inspiration.
- Take micro-vacations
Sometimes you just need a break. Incorporate those breaks into your routine and take some time for yourself to just be. Try fifteen minutes of meditation or just letting your mind wander. This will make it easier to manage stress and practice mindfulness in your daily life.
- Take sleep seriously
Sleep is the basis of everything! We all know we should be getting 8 hours of sleep per night but sometimes it can be hard to fall and stay asleep. Create a relaxing bedtime routine at the same time every night, like reading a few pages of a book or taking a relaxing shower.
Journaling can be incredibly therapeutic. It can help you better understand yourself and help you work through things that are bothering you to improve your overall mental health.
Not sure where to start? Here are 30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery.
Do you find yourself glued to your phone, endlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed? Us too. But studies have shown that too much time on social media can be damaging to your mental wellbeing. If you feel like social media is dragging you down, limit your time on it. Turn off notifications for your social media apps or remove them from your phone completely.
How To Form A Habit
- Plan to repeat
Make a plan and stick to it. Make a reminder on your phone to journal or put a sticky note on your computer monitor reminding you of your goal, like drinking water.
- Put yourself in the right situation to repeat
You’re more likely to repeat the thing you want to become a habit if it’s convenient for you. For example, having your water bottle filled up and sitting near you makes you more likely to drink your water rather than having to get up, go to the kitchen, and fill up a glass.
- Incentivize the habit
If the habit is something you don’t particularly want to do (because let’s be real, replacing bad habits is hard), try incentivizing it. If you want to cut down on your social media time but you’re having trouble setting your phone down, reward yourself when you reach a milestone or goal. If you successfully cut down your social media usage by 2 hours a week, give yourself a reward like a nice dinner out or buy something fun.
Start Making Healthy Changes Today
Forming new healthy habits isn’t always easy but the sooner you start, the sooner you will see the benefits of your hard work. Start out small with just one or two habits and continue to build on them while introducing new habits.
Hit the reset button so you can start eating healthier
Try a juice cleanse to reduce cravings and flush out toxins so you have a fresh start for your healthy habits.