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7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

By Remy Meraz March 29, 2024

7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

Introduction: Embracing a Healthier Lifestyle Through Good Habits

In the journey of life, the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle stands as a beacon, guiding us towards not just longevity but a quality of life enriched with joy and fulfillment. Imagine waking up each day with more energy, a positive mood, and a body fortified against chronic diseases. This isn't just an ideal; it's a possibility within your grasp through the cultivation of good habits.

Adopting a balanced diet, ensuring good sleep hygiene, and staying physically active are not mere actions but investments in your future self. Each healthy habit weaves into the fabric of our daily routine, reinforcing the foundation of our overall health and well-being.

But where does one begin in this vast landscape of health benefits and lifestyle changes? Right here, with us, today. We embark on a transformative journey, not just to develop good habits but to sustain them, making them stick as part of a healthy lifestyle that wards off chronic conditions, boosts our immune system, and enhances our mental health.

Let's unravel the tapestry of a healthier lifestyle together, discovering how eating healthy, managing stress, and being mindful of our physical and emotional balance can lead us to a life where quality of life is not just a term but a tangible experience. Welcome to a new beginning, a path that leads to better health, well-being, and an enriched existence.

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Contemplation: Are You Thinking of Making Changes?

At the heart of any journey towards a healthier lifestyle lies a moment of contemplation. This pivotal stage is where you take stock of your current lifestyle, habits, and health—acknowledging the gap between where you are and where you aspire to be. It's a time for introspection, asking yourself if your daily routines are nurturing or hindering your physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.

Do your eating habits support your cardiovascular health and brain health? Are physical activities a regular part of your day, enough to keep your immune system strong and your muscle mass intact? How does your daily routine affect your stress levels, energy levels, and ability to sleep well?

Reflecting on these questions can reveal a lot about your current health habits and the changes needed to develop healthier habits. It's about recognizing the power of new healthy habits—like opting for whole foods over processed ones, integrating regular exercise into your week, and finding time to spend outdoors in fresh air—to mitigate risks of chronic diseases and enhance your overall well-being.

This contemplation is your stepping stone to transformation. It's the moment you decide to reduce stress, improve your eating habits, and stay motivated towards achieving a healthier life. It's about setting the foundation for good habits that will stick and propel you towards a healthier lifestyle.

Preparation: “I Have Made Up My Mind to Take Action.”

Decision time is a monumental leap from contemplation. It's the phase where you affirm, "I am ready to adopt a healthier lifestyle". This commitment to building healthy habits is not just about intention; it's about laying the groundwork for actionable steps that lead to a healthy life.

Crafting a daily routine that includes balanced diet choices, regular physical activity, and good sleep hygiene becomes your blueprint for success. It involves practical strategies like meal prepping to ensure healthy eating, scheduling physical activities that you enjoy, and establishing a wind-down ritual to enhance sleep quality.

Mental health also takes center stage as you learn stress management techniques and incorporate mindful breathing to maintain emotional balance. Setting healthy boundaries for work-life balance, dedicating time for self-care, and seeking support for mental well-being are all part of this preparation phase.

This is where you transition from thinking to doing, embracing changes that bolster your immune system, reduce stress, and improve focus. It's about making positive changes in your life that resonate through your overall well-being, setting the stage for a journey filled with better health and more energy.

7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

Building Good Habits

The Benefits of Creating Healthy Habits

Establishing healthy habits is like planting seeds that grow into the foundation of a vibrant, healthier lifestyle. These habits—ranging from a balanced diet to regular physical activity—are crucial for maintaining overall health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and ensuring mental well-being. By integrating healthy eating, good sleep hygiene, and daily physical activities into your routine, you're not just improving your physical health but also enhancing your energy levels, brain health, and emotional balance.

How Good Habits Affect Your Goals

Good habits serve as the stepping stones towards achieving your personal and professional goals. Whether it's developing self-discipline to stay motivated in your career or adopting stress management techniques to enhance focus and productivity, the discipline of maintaining these habits directly impacts your capacity to achieve success. Healthy eating and regular exercise can significantly boost your energy levels and positive mood, making it easier to tackle challenges and seize opportunities.

Developing Self-Discipline

At the core of building healthy habits is the development of self-discipline. It’s the force that keeps you moving forward, even when motivation wanes. Self-discipline involves making choices that align with your long-term well-being over immediate gratification. It means prioritizing a healthy meal over fast food, choosing physical activity over sedentary leisure, and setting boundaries to ensure good sleep. This self-discipline is what makes habits stick, transforming new, healthier routines into an indispensable part of your daily life.

Healthy Habits for Physical Well-being

Eating a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is your cornerstone for maintaining physical health and achieving a healthy life. Incorporating a variety of healthy foods—from whole grains and lean proteins to fresh produce—ensures your body receives the essential vitamins and healthy fats it needs. This nutritional harmony supports your immune system, aids in disease control, and is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. Prioritizing healthy eating habits means choosing nutrient-rich meals over fast food, significantly impacting your overall health and quality of life.

Drink Less Alcohol, Drink More Water

Hydration plays a pivotal role in our physical health. Reducing alcohol consumption can lower the risk of developing chronic conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease, while increasing water intake helps regulate body temperature, maintain muscle mass, and boost energy levels. Water is essential for every cellular function, making it a simple yet effective habit for enhancing your physical well-being.

Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity, from strength training exercises to cardiovascular health-boosting activities, is vital for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise strengthens your heart, bones, and muscles, and it can improve your mental health by reducing stress levels and fostering a positive mood. Whether it's structured workouts or integrating more physical activities into your daily routine, staying physically active is a key component of a healthy life.

Sleep Well

Good sleep hygiene is as critical as a healthy diet and regular exercise for your physical health. Ensuring sufficient hours of sleep allows your body to repair itself, consolidates memory, and regulates emotions—fundamental aspects of emotional regulation and brain health. A consistent sleep schedule and a conducive sleep environment are essential for better sleep and, consequently, better health.

Move Your Body in Ways That Feel Good

Lastly, embracing physical activities that you enjoy is crucial for making healthy habits stick. Whether it’s yoga, dancing, or hiking, choosing activities that bring joy ensures you stay motivated and spend time being active regularly. This practice not only supports your physical health but also enhances your emotional balance and overall well-being, making physical activity an enjoyable part of your daily life.

7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

Nourishing Your Mind

Practice Mindfulness

In our fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget to live in the moment. Practicing mindfulness—the art of being fully present and engaged with the here and now—can significantly reduce stress and enhance your emotional balance. This habit fosters a deeper appreciation for life's simple pleasures, improving your overall well-being and mental health.

Start a Mindful Breathing and Meditation Practice

Mindful breathing and meditation are powerful tools for stress management and emotional regulation. By focusing on your breath and clearing your mind, you can achieve a state of calmness that has profound effects on your brain health and positive mood. Establishing a daily meditation practice can help improve focus, reduce stress levels, and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Adopt a Growth Mindset

Embracing a growth mindset—the belief that your abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—can transform the way you face challenges and setbacks. It encourages resilience, healthy habits, and positive change, enhancing your ability to adapt and grow. This mindset is crucial for mental health and achieving personal and professional goals, contributing to a more fulfilling daily life.

Prioritize Mental Health Check-ins

Regular mental health check-ins with yourself or a professional are vital for maintaining emotional regulation and addressing any concerns before they escalate. Whether it’s seeking therapy, journaling, or engaging in open conversations with loved ones, taking the time to reflect on your mental well-being is an essential part of healthy living. It ensures you stay on top of stress management, supports a balanced diet and regular exercise routine, and promotes overall health.

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Creating a Supportive Environment

Creating a supportive environment is a key aspect of fostering a healthy lifestyle and maintaining good habits. This involves not just the physical space around you but also the social and emotional environments that influence your healthy living practices.

Get Support

Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, and possibly professionals can significantly impact your ability to sustain healthy habits. This support can come in various forms, from a workout buddy who keeps you accountable for your physical activities to a therapist who helps navigate stress levels and emotional balance. A supportive community encourages positive change, offering both motivation and comfort during challenging times.

Set Boundaries for Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for stress management and overall well-being. Setting clear boundaries between professional and personal life ensures that you have dedicated time for self-care, relaxation, and pursuits that bring you joy. This might mean having strict cut-off times for work, ensuring you have time to spend in nature, or simply engaging in activities that promote better sleep and reduce stress. A well-defined work-life boundary is essential for preserving your quality of life.

Spend Time in Nature

Spending time outdoors and in nature has numerous health benefits, including reducing stress levels, improving mood, and enhancing physical health. The simple act of breathing in fresh air, taking in the natural beauty, and engaging in physical activity outside can have a profound effect on your mental health and emotional regulation. Whether it's a walk in the park, a hike in the forest, or just sitting in your garden, connecting with nature is a powerful way to rejuvenate your mind and body.

7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

Maintaining Your New Lifestyle

Action: “I Have Started to Make Changes.”

Taking the initial step and beginning to implement changes in your life is commendable. This action phase is where your commitment shines, as you start replacing old patterns with new healthy habits. It's a testament to your dedication to a healthier you, showing that you're not just contemplating changes but actively pursuing them.

Maintenance: Have You Created a New Routine?

After the initial excitement of starting new habits, the challenge often lies in maintaining them. Creating a daily routine that incorporates your new habits is crucial for long-term success. Consistency is key. Whether it's a morning workout, a meditation session, or preparing a healthy meal, ensuring these activities become non-negotiable parts of your day is essential for them to become ingrained in your lifestyle.

How to Make Healthy Habits Stick

Making healthy habits stick requires more than just willpower; it involves setting up systems that make consistency easier. This might include meal planning to ensure you're eating healthy, scheduling your workouts as non-negotiable appointments, or setting reminders to stay motivated. Celebrate small victories along the way to keep motivation high, and remember, flexibility is vital. Adapting your habits to fit changes in your lifestyle or goals ensures they remain relevant and beneficial.

Specific Strategies for Habit Formation

Limit Processed Foods

One of the most impactful strategies for improving your health is to limit the intake of processed foods. These foods often contain high levels of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to chronic diseases, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Focusing on a healthy diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, and essential vitamins can drastically improve your overall health. Making conscious choices to eat more whole and unprocessed foods supports not just physical health but also your mental well-being.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene is essential for both physical and mental health. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a restful environment free of distractions, and avoiding caffeine and electronics before bedtime can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. Adequate and quality sleep helps regulate body temperature, improve focus, and maintain a healthy weight, leading to better health overall.

Practicing Yoga or Other Mind-Body Exercises

Incorporating mind-body exercises such as yoga into your routine can have profound effects on both your physical and mental health. These practices not only improve physical strength, flexibility, and balance but also promote emotional regulation and stress management. Engaging in yoga or similar activities encourages mindfulness, helping you stay connected with your body's needs and fostering a sense of inner peace.

Practice Self-Care and Self-Compassion

Self-care and self-compassion are key components of a healthy lifestyle. Taking time for yourself, whether through relaxation, pursuing hobbies, or simply doing things that make you happy, is crucial for stress reduction and emotional well-being. Practicing self-compassion means treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding during tough times as you would a friend, which is essential for mental health and resilience.

Practice Gratitude

Cultivating a habit of gratitude can transform your outlook on life. Taking time each day to reflect on and appreciate the good in your life—no matter how small—can lead to increased positivity, reduced stress levels, and improved mental health. Gratitude can rewire your brain to focus more on the positive aspects of your life, enhancing your overall well-being and happiness.

7 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

Reflecting on Your Journey

Reflect on Your Habits

Taking time to reflect on your habits is an integral part of any personal growth journey. This reflection isn't about critiquing yourself harshly but rather observing which habits have positively impacted your daily life and which ones you might want to adjust. Acknowledging the positive changes you've made, no matter how small, reinforces your commitment to a healthier lifestyle and highlights the progress you've made. Reflection provides valuable insights into your behavior patterns, helping you understand what drives your good habits and what triggers the bad ones.

3 Ways to Start Building Healthy Habits

  1. Start Small: Focus on one new habit at a time. Trying to change too much too quickly can be overwhelming and unsustainable. Whether it's incorporating more whole grains into your diet or setting aside 10 minutes a day for mindful breathing, small changes can lead to significant impacts over time.
  2. Set Clear Goals: Having clear, achievable goals for your healthy habits helps to maintain focus and motivation. Whether it's reducing your risk of chronic diseases or improving your sleep hygiene, knowing what you're working towards can keep you on track.
  3. Seek Support: Surrounding yourself with a supportive community or finding a habit buddy can significantly enhance your ability to build and maintain healthy habits. Sharing your goals, successes, and challenges with others can provide the encouragement needed to stay motivated and make your habits stick.

Conclusion: The Path Forward with Healthy Habits

As we wrap up our exploration of 7 healthy habits you can start today, remember that each small step you take is a leap towards a healthier lifestyle. Incorporating these habits into your daily routine can significantly enhance your quality of life and lead to better health. The journey towards good health is ongoing, a path paved with continuous learning, adaptation, and growth. Keep fostering good habits, and over time, you will see profound changes not just in your physical health, but in your overall well-being. Here's to making those healthy habits a permanent part of your life's journey.

Read more about: Well-being, Self Advocacy

About Remy Meraz

Remy Meraz, co-founder, and CEO of Zella Life, is a visionary leader who leveraged corporate glass ceiling challenges as a woman of color to drive systemic change.

While leading and cultivating high-performance teams from VC-backed startups to Fortune 500, she consistently faced obstacles such as inadequate mentorship, lack of psychological safety, and non-personalized training. Taking matters into her own hands, she turned to executive coaching and NLP training. This life-changing growth experience led to breaking leadership barriers and a passion for cognitive psychology.

Motivated by her experiences, she co-founded Zella Life, an innovative AI-driven coaching platform bridging the talent development gap by enhancing soft skills and emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workplace.

Her vision with Zella Life is to transform professional development into an inclusive and impactful journey, focused on the distinct needs of both individuals and organizations. She aims to promote advancement and culture change by ensuring every professional's growth is acknowledged and supported.

Today, Remy is recognized as an influential innovator, trainer, mentor, and business leader. Under her leadership, Zella Life has delivered significant measurable outcomes for numerous well-known brands. This track record of positive outcomes garnered attention and funding from Google for Startups and Pledge LA, establishing Zella Life as a pivotal force in the learning and development arena tackling and resolving fundamental talent development issues for organizations of all sizes.