Author: Devon Smolca
“You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust your sails.” -German Proverb
In order to embody a lifestyle change, it’s essential to cultivate healthy habits. Habits are formed when we make something a regular part of our routine. When we fall out of our healthy practices, be it drinking more water, eating more green foods or mindful eating, we tend to fall back on old ways to which we are conditioned and can potentially lose our traction with the new groove we are working so hard on.
We can ground ourselves to a healthy lifestyle by finding our “anchor,” one healthy habit that we can easily accomplish each day which reminds us and motivates us to remain committed to our goals and wellness. When our everyday routine gets interrupted by weekends, vacation or other inevitable events, we’ll still have our anchor that holds us steady in rocky seas.
Here are some tips to help you discover and hang onto your anchor:
- Make it accessible anywhere: The most important thing to consider when determining our anchor is whether it’s a habit we can take with us anywhere. We want it to be a habit we can travel with! For example, while drinking 64 ounces of water every day can be done anywhere, using an elliptical may not. Oftentimes the biggest challenge to developing routine is how to handle it when the routine gets disrupted. It’s important to choose a habit that is portable and doesn’t depend on good weather or equipment that might not be available.
- Love your ritual: It also helps if it’s a ritual we enjoy! We want this habit to motivate us towards our health and our best selves. If our anchor is something we enjoy, it’s more likely we will do it everyday. However, if it’s something we dread or find too challenging, it won’t last. Which leads to the next point….
- Keep it simple: A healthy ritual can simply be a mantra, a sentence or a few words that remind us to be strong, present and make healthy choices (find your motivation mantra!). It can be eating our favorite fruit or veggie as a snack or having a consistent breakfast each day.
- Bundle your habit: It can be helpful to pair our daily wellness commitment with a habit we already have in place. For example brushing our teeth and saying a morning mantra, waking up and having 16 ounces of water, doing a breathing meditation, or journaling before bedtime. Pairing habits offers a helpful reminder!
- Create consistency: Not only does an anchor enforce consistency, having consistency will tie us to our anchor! It can be helpful to create consistency with our routines by doing our health practice around the same time each day in order to become habituated to it.
Having a healthy daily ritual helps us renew our commitment to ourselves and our wellness each and everyday. In our busy lives, it’s necessary to stop, take a moment and recognize what a wonderful practice it is to take care of our bodies and minds! Cultivating our own health and showing up for ourselves in this way opens us up to the potential of being more present in our lives and fully available to others! Our lives are full of turbulence with what’s already on deck and what we need to navigate through. It’s important we grab onto our anchor to keep ourselves from going adrift and to stay the course!