There’s so many changes you could make to improve your lifestyle, and be healthier and happier. Something about your habits is probably bothering you. Maybe you want to eat better, move more, de-stress, connect better with friends and family, or get enough sleep. These are all healthy goals. But it can feel too big, too vague, or more comfortable to push it back to deal with later. Maybe in the new year, for example. Except if you’re that vague about it, you probably won’t do it at all.
So if you’re thinking about improving your health habits and lifestyle, the best time to make a change is NOW, if you’re ready … or at least nearly ready! Sometimes we just need to take the plunge.
But if you need a little nudge? Take advantage of another change or transition in your life and add a healthy lifestyle change at the same time. This is a strategy that habits & happiness expert Gretchen Ruben terms “The Clean Slate”.
Habits Change with A Clean Slate
You may be familiar with the Clean Slate when you’ve had big transitions in your life. Major changes to your life like moving to a new home, starting at a new job or new school tend to have a major impact on your habits. Old ones get tossed aside quite easily, and you’re primed to establish new patterns. Depending on what’s on your mind now, you might drop (or pick up) an early morning running habit, pick up (or drop) the habit of packing a lunch, and change your sleep schedule. But notably, whatever you do in the first few days will tend to become your routine. Just then, you’re primed for change.
And while you might move just a few time in your life, and change workplaces less than once a year, there are plenty of smaller transitions that happen – as often as once a month – that you can use to help establish your new, healthier habits.
Prepare for Endings
What’s ending soon? Endings can make useful transitions.
For example, if your 6-week yoga or bootcamp series is ending, it’s an opportunity to make a deliberate choice what you’ll do with that time on week 7. Depending on your goals, it might be to sign up again, or to try another activity from painting to meditation to meal prep. Or more sleep. Zzzz!
The end of something like a vacation can also be a great transition point. Before diving into your regular commitments, take a moment to think about how you’d like to best use your time and energy. Perhaps you’d like a better morning routine, for example. If so, start it on the first day back from your vacation.
Take Advantage of Beginnings
And of course beginnings are great times to start fresh, or start right.
What might be starting in the next little while? Maybe it’s a new project at work, a new part of the school year, or a new season of your favourite sporting events. Consider: How would you like to set yourself up for success for that phase of your life?
Don’t worry about doing a lot of change at once. As long as you’ve thought through your changes, doing it all at once at a transition point in your life can actually be quite a bit more powerful than waiting until you feel settled to change your lifestyle habits.
So, Are You Ready?
Then get set, and go!
And if you need a little support in figuring out the right plan for you, which changes make the most sense, and/or solving the inevitable hiccups, I’m here for you. Let me know what you need in a free call – bookable in the “BOOK NOW” button above.
With best wishes for your health & happiness,
Nicole Pulvermacher, Registered Dietitian, Eatwell Nutrition Consulting