We’ve all had those New Year’s resolutions for our health when we vow to make dramatic lifestyle changes: Quit smoking. Lose 30 pounds. Cut out sugar and start exercising daily.  Only to fall flat a few days later if we ever even attempt at all.

While we should always attempt to accomplish these momentous health goals, the road to a healthier lifestyle does not always have to mean drastic overwhelming changes.

There are endless smaller steps you can take that will help improve your overall health and quality of life — no gimmicks just small changes to incorporate in your daily life. Think of it as programming if you will, therefore they should be easy to maintain for the long haul. Even if time is sparse, you can use that time to improve your overall well-being.

Try incorporating the following strategies into your daily life. When these simple steps become habits, they can add up to a big positive effect on your overall health. Remember bad habits equal immediate rewards and good habits equal ultimate rewards.

 Start your journey making small daily obtainable adjustments in your routine and enjoy the benefits of a happier, healthier you. Here’s 10 steps to better health!

1. Stack small successes.

Start out small! If you were to give 1% more effort towards your health-focused goals each day over the course of a year your performance will have improved by almost 37%.

2. Be Proactive, not reactive.

Take responsibility, own your power.  What is most important to you put first, get it out of the way.  Rewiring your brain will make being proactive a habit, not a quiescence.

3. WATER. WATER. WATER.

Drink a bottle of water first thing in the morning. Your body loves triggers, it clears the waste from your body and rehydrates you after a night’s sleep without fluids.  A vast majority of people are chronically dehydrated and do not even know it.

4. Keep Good posture.

Keeping good posture is good for your lungs. If you are slumped over you collapse the lower 1/3 of your lungs absorbing 2/3 of your oxygen. That would likely make you tired, this is about peak performance.  If you want to function your best put yourself in the best conditions.

5. Make Healthy Choices accessible.

If you have your gym clothes packed the night before and the gym is on your way home, it is much easier to show up for 30 minutes to the gym after work than going home to change clothes and head to the gym.

6. Make time.

When we can’t find time to workout 30 minutes a day 3 times a week, our body shows to be less effective, then we ask for short cuts knowing full well any short cut does not last long.  Putting ourselves first is hard until we realize giving the best version of ourselves to all those around us keeps everyone happier.

7. Look for a positive peer group.

 It’s no secret that the five people you spend the most time with are who you are most like. Social groups help with accountability and influence.  Pay for a trainer or coach, sign up for a group fitness class, or ask friends to join you for accountability.

8. A body in motion stays in motion. Really.

I have 20 cliché lines that mean the same thing, but it is true.  Most Americans do not move enough. Getting the body moving can be of great health benefit whether it be yoga, walking, or weightlifting. Regular exercise improves brain function and memory, protects against chronic disease, aids in weight management, improves joint pain, and combats fatigue among other things, but it will not happen overnight.

9. Eat powerful foods.

Eventually, the goal is to replace the bad habits with the good but to start you only need to learn to enjoy the good. Even if you only choose healthier options half the time the more enjoyable and accessible you make the healthier options the better off your life will be.  To get the most bang for your buck go for the superfoods: Avocados, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, eggs, blueberries, and there are many more.

10. Go to Sleep.

I could not decide if this should be first or last, sleep has many health benefits and can be one of the easiest or one of the hardest. If you have trouble sleeping, sometimes meditation, supplements, and medical intervention is needed. The benefits of a full night’s sleep can boost your immune system, increase productivity, prevent weight again while putting you in a better mood.  Remember, too much of a good thing is not good, either so, find a healthy balance.

About the author

Leanne Johnson is the owner of HealThy Self in Calvert City. She decided to become a health coach after almost letting her health get the best of her. She teaches a free yoga class twice a week in Calvert City that is free and open to the public. Leanne has a passion for helping people reach their health goals and what better time to start than 2021! Follow her on Facebook by clicking HERE

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