Simple Ways To Create New Habits

Hi everyone and happy January 2020! What a year 2019 was – I turned 40 and I fell pregnant with our first baby (33 weeks in and I’m feeling huge!)

I’ve never really been one for making resolutions but I do like to set intentions for the year ahead (with one eye on the 5-year plan if possible); this helps me to focus my energy and allows me to see the bigger picture in case I go off-track (which does happen).

Something I also tried to do and I will also be implementing once the baby arrives (with regards to exercising), is to turn my intentions into healthy habits that become a part of my daily/weekly routine.

To make something a habit or second nature takes time, persistence and patience but once it is embedded within a routine, it’s a piece of cake! Well, not entirely as it still requires diligence but it’ll be waaaay easier than before.

Some of the habits that are now a part of my routine:

• Staying hydrated. Sounds easy/common sensical, right?!? Well, no, actually; so many of us are dehydrated and I can’t tell you how much better I feel now that I am drinking enough water.

Being pregnant has changed my body, my appetite, me, in so many ways and growing a human being is hard work so at the beginning of this journey I decided to set a goal that I wanted to drink 8 glasses of water each day. It took some time to establish but it worked. I have a routine and I feel really good.

• Cutting-down screen time. This was trickier than I expected it to be (as I run my whole business from my phone), but again, with practice, I’ve found my groove. I’ve set a timer on my phone to indicate to me when I’ve hit my screen-time limit. Once this is up, I try to step away! To be honest, this habit has been a tougher one to crack as I post recipes etc quite regularly and I like to respond to questions promptly. However, some habits may take longer to establish than others and i’m fine with that!

In 2020 though, especially with a baby on the way, I will really work hard to stick to certain time slots and anything that doesn’t get done can be looked at the next day. All being said, I have benefitted from being more regimented with my phone-use and it then leaves time for other things like being creative with my hands!

• Eating more raw foods. Being prepared is key when it comes to eating more raw veggies. Having a stash of peeled & chopped snacks in the fridge has been amazing for me during my pregnancy. It’s so easy to reach for sugary alternatives (when the pregnancy hunger strikes, a woman needs to eat and I mean, EAT, like, RIGHT NOW!)

Therefore, having some freshly-prepared food ready-to-go has been a life saver, (Shaun’s life saver lol). I’ve also been taking said crudités out-and-about with me so that I’m not caught-out when we’re on the road.

• Keeping a ‘Thank You’ journal. I have kept a Gratitude journal before but I’ve found that by writing “Thank you for…..” feels better. Whether it’s little things that have happened during the day or huge events that will change my life forever (like becoming a Mummy), making a note of them all has given me perspective and permission to invite more things to be thankful for into my life.

I was really lucky and this Christmas, I was given 5 new notebooks! Where do I begin! Each one will be used for a different job and one will be exclusively set-aside for documenting my “thank you’s”. I will look back at them at the end of each month and they’ll give me perspective, I am sure.

HOW TO CREATE A NEW HABIT:

Here are some of the hacks I’ve implemented to ensure that the ideas I have become a part of my routine.

1. Write down your intentions and be specific. If necessary, state how often, which days and for how long you’d like to work-on your idea; i.e. “I would like to exercise for 30 minutes, 4 times a week in the morning”. Then, print a free online calendar, mark your exercise days and begin. The same could be instigated for making time for a new hobby, for catching-up with friends, reading. You’ll actually be surprised by how easily a routine develops.

2. Reward yourself. This is sooo important – I don’t believe in only rewarding once a new habit is mastered; for me, little rewards along the way as I learn new habits works best for me. For example, if I complete my exercise plan for the week, I will have a lovely coffee by the sea with my book as a treat for putting-in lots hard work. The work-reward loop has been sufficiently completed ready to begin again the following week. Whatever it is you love to do, make sure to schedule this into your routine.

3. Don’t be hard on yourself. Easier said than done, right?! Don’t beat yourself up if your plans go awry. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to try again. There might be many false-starts, especially at the beginning when we are finding our new rhythm but I can vouch for the power of persistent effort and you will get there!

4. Believe in yourself. This is crucial yet sometimes the thing we might find hardest (especially when the lazy part of the brain kicks-in and says “naaaah, not today luv”). Overriding this voice can be really hard work but once you crack it, you’ll be sailing! Believe in your abilities, in your life and in yourself. Be your own biggest backer and don’t let anything sway you from what you want to achieve.

5. Keep a journal. Yep, document all the wins, little and huge! They all add-up to make big days and you will look back and be really proud of yourself. Life can be a stretch and it can seem hard to factor-in time for ourselves but once this in itself becomes second nature, you will reap the rewards for your diligence, persistence and hard work. Keep your eyes on your goal and work incrementally, step-by-step to make them happen.

That’s my round-up of the things you could implement within your daily routine to create and maintain new, healthy habits. I’m no expert but the things I’ve discussed have worked for me. I would love to hear about anything you’ve done to make way for new habits – please feel free to leave messages and comments below.

In the meantime, I wanted to say that whatever it is you’re facing at the moment, whatever you’re finding tough, things will and do get better. Living a healthy and balanced life actually takes time and effort to cultivate and after a long road, I’ve found myself in a really wonderful place both physically and mentally. If you need to, reach-out. Tell a friend, a family member or write down how you’re feeling. You are not alone.

I am happy to say that I now the Guest Wellbeing Blogger for an amazing mental health awareness charity called Eye Eye World. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, advice or guidance, check-out my words for wellbeing.

Have a really happy January (and year) and I hope you get into the groove and find your own unique rhythm with your new habits and routines!

Keep checking-in here to see my healthy recipes inspiration and you can see my daily goings-on over on my Instagram: @hollyswholesomekitchen

All my love & encouragement,

Holly xxx

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