January might be #1 on the list for starting or trying a new healthy habit or two, but spring isn’t too far behind. There’s kind of an inherent opportunity for newness in spring: Farmers plant, eggs hatch, grass turns green. There’s an external cue that we can pick up on and use for our own personal gain when it comes to our own health and well-being.
Now don’t get too carried away like you might with your New Year’s Resolutions, but spring might be a sneaky-good time to try some new things. Spring is a more laid-back, low-pressure opportunity to try a few changes that might actually stick. There’s just enough external motivation to make the internal motivation easier on you, without all of the pressure and high expectations that New Year’s Resolutions can have. Just go with the flow, keep it simple and casual, and try a few of these very easy habits one at a time to make them last.
Your New Spring Thing Challenge is to try something new in your day to day routine. You can add something beneficial (my favorite and easiest intervention), remove something detrimental (even if it’s just 10% of something, not even necessarily the whole thing), do a full replacement, or shuffle things up and move them around. We’re creatures of habit; we like comfort and familiarity and convenience. Therefore it’s easy to start down a bad habit path and before you know it, a month or year or decade has passed by where you’ve really entrenched that habit. You just do it without even thinking or paying attention to the consequences. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
Pack your lunch the night before.
Pack your workout clothes the night before.
Add a daily walk.
Put your walking shoes by the door.
Change your normally scheduled lunch-time.
Schedule a workout in the morning instead of the evening.
Try a different type of workout.
Brush your teeth at a different point in the morning.
Drink one more bottle of water a day.
Swap in one bottle of water for one soda.
Attend a new class.
Eat one more fist-sized serving of veggies.
They don’t have to be big, radical changes all at once, just tweak one little thing or add an easy win to your day and grow it from there. You just might find a more efficient and healthier way to live. Little, fun disruptions can yield big dividends.
Change isn’t easy, it’s going to make you feel mentally and physically uncomfortable, but you can make it manageable by breaking it down into simpler forms and setting yourself up for victory. Success isn’t instantaneous, it’s nurtured step by step along the way with planning and effort. Give yourself time, build them up brick by brick, and be good to yourself along the way.