What is a Healthy Habit?
A healthy habit is any activity that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a juice cleanse or that cycling class your friend has to drag you to. It could be practicing mindfulness, reducing stress, or giving back by volunteering.
So, how can you choose a healthy habit?
Be honest with yourself about what goals you can realistically accomplish. This could be not eating that midnight snack, or waking up at the same time each morning. The first step to change is recognizing the behavior or habit you’d like to make or break.
If you need to, take the time to “shop around” before choosing your new habit. For example, if you’d like to take up yoga, but haven’t tried it before, take your new habit for a test drive to make sure it’s something you’re comfortable committing to. With locations throughout New York City, EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care offers free health & wellness classes that are open to everyone, with plenty of opportunities to try a new fitness trend before making it a part of your regular routine.
Once you’ve chosen a new healthy habit, here are four tips to help make them stick.
1. The early bird gets the worm
Most people have energy early in the day after a good night of sleep. Use this to your advantage by beginning your new habit in the quiet morning hours. If you choose habits that are easy to begin with, it’s hard to say no. Get your early start this week!
2. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Celebrate the small victories.
Many of us forget that habits don’t happen overnight. On average, it can take up to two months for a new behavior to become automatic. While it makes sense to have a grand plan for your final goal, celebrating the little victories along the way will give you the lift you need to keep going. These celebrations allow you to maintain balance and focus on more than one goal.
One of the many classes EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care offers is a CDC-certified Diabetes Prevention Program. This free program covers topics such as healthy eating, physical activity, and monitoring blood sugar levels, all of which involve small, measurable goals that help participants build healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Give yourself a reset each morning and recognize that accomplishing a small goal that day is a victory.
3. Look to your community to keep you accountable
It’s hard to bail on that 5 a.m. yoga class if your friend will be right there next to you. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care lets you build a network of resources and friends to keep you accountable, whether it’s one of our nutrition experts, fitness instructors, or a new friend at your Tuesday morning Tai Chi class.
4. Be open to change and ask questions
In order to bring something new in your life, you need to be open to change. With this openness, you allow yourself to be vulnerable and make mistakes. Being receptive to a piece of advice or tip from a friend or health coach could transform the way you approach your goal. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care offers free programs with health coaches to help you re-evaluate your goals and tailor your routines to your lifestyle, health conditions, and more.
The sooner you start a new habit, the sooner you can reap its health benefits! Ready to get started? Visit our Neighborhood Care page to find a Neighborhood Care near you and to explore our class schedule.