Transitions, like moving or pregnancy, are the perfect opportunities to replace bad habits with positive ones and strive to be healthier and happier. In fact, experts say that switching habits within three months of a major life change is the perfect window of opportunity because “life can be up in the air,” which makes people more open to new ideas and information.
Everyone knows they should eat healthier, but actually implementing healthy choices into their diets doesn’t always happen. Lucky for you, you can use your transition as a catalyst to start incorporating healthy food choices into your daily life. Since you’re already in the midst of a big life change, look for easy ways to make adjustments to your diet.
Gradually wean yourself off of cream and sugar in your coffee, trim your portions down to the appropriate sizes, and roast and bake foods instead of frying them. You can also learn better snacking options, good ingredient swaps, and more. There are so many ways to clean up your eating, and many ideas are simple to follow, like spreading avocados on sandwiches in place of mayonnaise.
Exercise is equally as important as dieting. Remember to start small. Overdoing it in when you first start can discourage you and can lead to an injury. To establish behaviors and create a habit, commit to 10 minutes of an exercise three days a week in the beginning. Creating a routine increases the chances of sticking to it. Instead of randomly working out, find a similar time each day. For example, work out three days a week at 6 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. one day, 5 p.m. the next day, and 2 p.m. the third day.
When you do incorporate exercise, consider trying something new. Have you been eyeing Crossfit? Maybe it’s time to take an intro class. Or perhaps you want something more meditative like yoga. Get yourself a YogaForce A-Line Mat and find a nearby studio where you can have some exposure to the practice. You never know what kind of new healthy exercise habit is waiting around the corner.
Better Use of Time
Time management is an important life skill. If you haven’t mastered it yet, take advantage of the new chapter in your life to practice. As silly as it sounds, carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations, and activities for a week. You may have an idea of where your time goes, but doing this will really show you how much time you use on productive versus nonproductive activities. Use the first minutes of every day to plan your day after that.
Make appointments for everything, even phone calls. While you shouldn’t necessarily pencil in a phone call with your mom over the weekend, schedule calls related to business, regardless of whether it’s a five-minute discussion or an hour-long call. Stick to the time you’ve allotted. Block out other distractions, such as social media, unless you’re using the sites for work. There are even apps that can block distracting sites for you. Similarly, if you’re working or engaged in an important task, don’t respond to texts, calls, or emails unless it’s truly important.
With all of your new time from learning time management skills, you should take on a hobby. Don’t think of a hobby as wasting time. Hobbies benefit people in many ways. You can clear your mind of worries and stress, as you’re more focused on your knitting than the emails you never answered at work. You’ll also exercise your brain and ignite creativity, which can help you solve other issues you’re dealing with. You may even meet new friends at book club meetings or a club sport practice.
Cleanse Your Life
Eliminate addiction, stress, toxic relationships, or whatever else is bogging you down. If you’re in a toxic relationship, find ways you can complete yourself without the person who’s bringing you down, and surround yourself with positive people. If a drug or alcohol addiction is messing up your health and life, find someone to hold you accountable, surround yourself with a support team, and get professional help or treatment if you need it.
Make your new home, family, or job a stress-free, healthy, and happy environment. Take advantage of the first three months of this exciting new time in your life to improve other aspects, including your diet, time management, and stress levels. One new habit can create a domino effect that leads to other new habits as well. Whether you’re starting a new job or getting married, you can use a period of transition as a way to change your life for the better.
### By Guest Blogger, Jennifer Scott, who writes about her experiences at Spiritfinder.Org