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Published on October 17, 2018

Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness

Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness

Every day, we set goals to improve our overall wellness. But what if you could take those health goals you’re setting and transcend them into daily habits?

If you’ve envisioned yourself happier, healthier, and more energized, I’ve put together concrete steps you can take to get there.

The Importance of Setting Health Goals

Goals vary between big and small, achievable and maybe far-fetched. When setting goals, it’s important to do so in such a way that allows you to obtain them and naturally weave them into your daily life.

To create new habits, it can take up to sixty days to make them stick. I’ve noticed that when I try to accomplish huge goals, my efforts to turn them into daily rituals or routines doesn’t manifest the way I’d hoped.

Wellness takes practice. It means different things to different people. Being healthy means being peaceful, serene and joyful in your thoughts and mind–how you respond to events in this wacky world we live in and in your life.

Optimal health should always be your desired outcome. However, life can get in the way of making your health goals habitual.

Recently, I’d endured a major loss in my family and I definitely felt my health slip throughout these stages of grief. I found it a challenge to function day-to-day, finish tasks, and wound up isolating myself more. The work that I love doing became not so enjoyable because I couldn’t give myself the chance to grieve or process the loss. I kept piling on work to avoid feeling and couldn’t keep up with eating well, exercising and lost nights of sleep.

I am somebody who can’t afford to lose sleep nor am I somebody who can over-jam my schedule. I am someone who needs to keep up with those good habits for the sake of my heart, mind, and physical health. I believe this is relative for everybody.

When you’re stressed or emotionally distressed, your heart is one of the first organs in your body that will feel the pain and react.

Life will throw those unexpected curve balls at you, so it’s critical to sustain those habits. Turn your quest for balance and good health into actionable steps that slowly become routines.

17 Health Goals That Will Transform Your Life

Don’t attempt to force habits. It’s OK if it takes a while to really get in the groove and adjust. So, here are the seventeen health goals that you can make into habits to become your healthiest self.

1. Develop Your Morning Routine

How you start your day matters tremendously. The way you greet a morning determines what mood you’ll be in that entire day.

If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, rush to get dressed, shove something in your mouth and hustle to work, you’ll most likely feel rattled.

A morning routine will help you ease into your day and start off on the right foot. If you’ve had a health goal to have more time in the mornings, start in fifteen minute increments. Wake up a fifteen minutes earlier each day until you’re happy with the time.

More time in the mornings means more time and attention to work obligations and people you care most about.

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Here’re 30 Morning Routines to Help You Start Afresh.

2. Develop Your Evening Routine

An evening routine can consist of reading, Yoga, cleaning and organizing, or doing an exercise.

Winding down is critical for mental health management. Come 7:00 or 7:30 P.M., that’s when you might want to start allowing your brain and mind to relax.

Your evening routine can entail anything that promotes peace and serenity. If something relaxes you and gets you prepared for bed, do that.

To make a health goal into a habit, set a time to stop working. The time I quit working is at 5:30 P.M. I cook dinner and after, my evening routine begins.

Need a little more advice? This guide can help:

The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

3. Walk for Thirty Minutes a Day

At a recent medical conference I’d attended, I learned about meditative walking. The sound of your shoes hitting the ground intervenes in troublesome thoughts. Feeling planted on the pavement anchors your mental and emotional state, keeps you stable.

I walk a couple times a day for my heart health–in the early afternoon and evening to activate my heart rate.

Inactivity is dangerous for anyone, with or without heart disease. A regular routine of walking will decrease stress and increase a peace in the mind.

4. Incorporate More Greens on Your Plate

Over the last couple of years, I created a rule for my plate:

Always have something green included.

Greens, especially dark leafy greens, have a broad array of benefits from healthier skin, vision, and energy to stronger kidneys and organs.

I’d noticed significant improvement in my overall well-being when I incorporated something green even in my breakfast.

Clean eating will lessen all kinds of aggravating symptoms. This is something you’ll want to do over time.

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Start off slow by adding greens to your dinner or lunch plate. Any kind of dietary change takes time, some effort and planning. But it’s all worthwhile.

5. Use Aroma Therapy for Stress Management

Essential oils truly are essential to wellness. In times of stress, I will dip a cotton ball into lavender oil, chamomile or eucalyptus and tie it in a tea bag.

Throughout the day, when I’m feeling flustered or rushed, I slow down and breathe in the oils. I’d feel drastic changes to my mental and emotional state and refreshed.

Aroma therapy has been used for thousands of years as tools for healing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try different ways of using essential oils throughout the day or at night.

6. Engage in Nature Therapy

There are a variety of nature therapies you can do to lower your stress and anxiety. I recently learned about tree therapy from an international blogger. I tried it over the summer and am still doing it.

It’s originally a Japanese practice called, ‘Forest Bathing’ and it’s radically improved health in people. All you do is surround yourself with trees. The concept is to be free from obligations, effort, and doing.

Don’t hike or count your steps. Just be present. Focus on all five of your senses. It’s revitalizing and energy restoring. Try doing this for ten minutes a day and see how you feel.

7. Inhale Fresh Air Fifteen Minutes a Day

Fresh air opens the lungs, the heart and the mind. It’s a collaborative process with yourself and nature.

Sometimes I’ll sit with my eyes closed in a safe place and breathe in the pine-scented air. I made this a daily habit now because being outside is emotionally and mentally healing.

A benefit of breathing in fresh air is it sharpens your mind and restores your energy, digestive system, and improves blood flow.

8. Try This Simple Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique for Anxiety

A diaphragmatic breathing technique I learned has allowed me to tackle anxiety the second it comes on, thus aiding in cognitive functioning.

If you’re anxious or overly stressed all the time, your system will operate as if you’re always in fight or flight. Deep breathing slows all the systems in your body down. It clears your mind of troubled or worrisome thoughts.

Try this:

Inhale through your nose four times and exhale, making a sound as you breathe out. Repeat it four times and be wowed by the results. You’ll feel much calmer.

9. Devote 10 Minutes of Stretching in Your Day

Stretching is needed to strengthen, repair, and grow muscles. Every day, I use the Styrofoam roller which you can buy on Amazon or even eBay. I’d never thought Styrofoam would cost so much but it’s worth every penny.

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Before and after I work out, I use it and then stretch. I do a fifteen-minute routine right at home on my living room floor.

As someone with chronic pain, I’ve noticed drastic improvement when I focus on increasing flexibility.

Stretching also fosters movement. A long day at work calls for time to decompress and release the stress of your day.

You can also try these simple stretches to relax your body and mind.

10. Take Naps

Within the last couple of years, managers of corporations and other companies have been allowing their employees to take naps in the middle of the day.

A nap will revitalize your physical energy and mind; and refresh your eyes and focus.

Since I’ve added naps to my daily regimen, my productivity increased by seventy percent. Naps are a great way to give yourself the break it needs.

11. Organize Your Home or Work Space for 15 Minutes

Fifteen minutes of cleaning will save you so much time.

Did your old routine used to consist of abandoning those chores during the week only to be slammed with them come Saturday and Sunday? Have you found yourself canceling plans with friends because life feels like such a mess in your home? It’s not a good place to be.

Fifteen minutes of cleaning a night (or morning, whichever works best) will add time to your life. Your home should be your oasis. A clean place is vital for stress management.

12. Morning Pages

You can really do this in the morning or night. Dump your thoughts on paper before you start a work day.

After I’d read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I tried her morning pages activity. It’s a form of letting go of that added weight that life gives us: career, hobbies, kids, family, worries, burdens, you name it. This technique of free-writing your thoughts should move you away from fear and back to your creative or hard-working self, the one who is fearless in their pursuits.

After I did the morning pages, I wrote a novel in a month and felt extremely accomplished. This type of writing is freeing and will release you from the burdens you feel holds you back.

13. Schedule Moments of Silence

Just ten minutes of silence can have profound impacts on your mental health.

I used to be somebody who needed something to make me happy, something to make me feel OK another day. I basically needed things in my life to be happening or I’d feel insecure.

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When I started penciling in moments of silence, I got to the root cause of why that got so out of control, the need and desire to always be seeking something. These moments of silence should give your mind pause, a break from tedious thoughts.

For me, doing this has improved my depression and anxiety astoundingly.

14. Include Writing in Your Morning or Evening Routine

I know this relates to the morning pages but not exactly. This you can do in three to five minutes. I’d been talking about this method of writing for years and it’s finally catching on (yes, I started this).

Try logging what you accomplished each day and what you need to do the next. Create a comprehensive outline showcasing how much you’ve achieved and what else needs attention. You’ll be amazed when you realize how much you’ve done in a day and hopefully will stop being so hard on yourself.

I am very hard on myself, unnecessarily so, and it’s unhealthy for the heart and mind. This approach to writing saved me in a lot of ways.

15. Wake up at a Set Time Each Morning

If you wake up at 7:00 in the morning, always wake up at 7:00 in the morning. A set sleep schedule will keep your circadian rhythm the same, which you want. Then, you’ll be able to predict those dips and rises in alertness each day.

If you have dietary restrictions or want to start eating healthy, keeping your sleep pattern steady and the same will make healthy eating easier.

16. Establish an Invigorating Skin-Care Routine

Whether you’re a man or a woman, have some kind of skin-care routine or time to wash those impurities away.

A regimen promotes anti-aging and will make you feel and look good. Morning and night, try something simple and effective to help you either wind down or wake up.

17. Dry Brushing

The benefits of dry brushing are amazing. If you struggle with anxiety and stress chronically, dry brushing is the way to relax. It’s perfect for increasing circulation, blood flow, and positive energy.

Recent studies show that dry brushing is also beneficial for the nerves. The action of dry brushing eliminates dead skin cells and promotes healing.

Bottom Line

A lot is in that list but bottom line: incorporating even the smallest goals and making them habits will transform your health in some way. You can pick and choose which best suit your needs but I do just about all of these daily now. If you’ve fallen off the wellness wagon, try doing a few of these regularly. Turning health goals into habits will transform your well-being in ways you’d never imagined and you’ll feel unstoppable.

Featured photo credit: morgan sarkissian via unsplash.com

More by this author

Tessa Koller

Author, Motivational Public Speaker and Artist

How to Spot Job Burnout and Cope with It 9 Happy Habits That Will Change Your Outlook and Your Life Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness How Practicing Morning Yoga Transforms Your Life (+10 Beginners’ Poses) Feeling Overwhelmed? Best 5 Meditation Apps to Destress During the Day

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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