5 Keystone Habits to Kick Start Your Wellness Goals
It can be sooo hard to make progress on your wellness goals. We have all these grand ideas of changes we want to make and where we want to get to but when it comes to actually taking the steps and creating the habits we can so easily stall out.
If you have some wellness goals you want to jump start, choosing a keystone habit can help you get going and be a catalyst for other healthy habits you may be wanting to implement.
What is a Keystone Habit?
Charles Duhigg who wrote “The Power of Habit”, said that some habits are more important than others and can transform your life. They can lead to the development of other good habits.
They can have a chain effect and cause ripples of positive changes in your life. Identifying which keystone habit might have the biggest impact on you and your current season is important.
Also, PLEASE start slowly. Pick ONE habit to work on and start small. Make it as easy as possible and gradually increase the time, etc….
If you are anything like me, you want to change everything at once and you blaze out in the first few days because too much change at once is usually unsustainable and requires too much mental effort and willpower to be successful.
Trust me. Slow and steady wins the race.
Five Keystone Habits
1. Get Enough Sleep
I know, I know. There’s so much to do, how can we possibly get 7-8 hours of good sleep? I feel you Mamas. Especially if you are in the baby/toddler season, it can be rough.
But that doesn’t lessen it’s importance and the impact it can have to be a catalyst towards your wellness goals.
Take a really hard look at what is keeping you from getting enough sleep.
Are you vegging out to Netflix (no judgement here, I struggle with it too!) and getting to bed late? Are you putting the kids down and then staying up trying to get your To Do list done? Are you scrolling on social media or checking emails?
You might have to make some hard decisions about cutting things out or leaving something unfinished, but your Future Self will thank you for it and you’ll find yourself much more alert and able to knock things out the next morning.
Some benefits of this habit:
-Able to get up earlier, which lets you potentially have some time to yourself before kids are up
-More energy to exercise
-More ability to focus and get a good start in the morning
-Less need for caffeine, etc…
-More willpower to make better food choices
Get your body moving. Whatever way you can. Find what works for YOU. Something you actually enjoy doing.
I talk about this more in another post, but you need to figure out based on your personality AND your season, limitations, etc… what are the best forms of exercise for you that you will be excited (or at least more likely) to do.
For me, I realized that because I’m an introvert and highly sensitive, that loud group classes in general aren’t my thing. I also hate working out in gyms.
It took me a while but I finally narrowed down my exercise Happy Places.
Swimming laps, Pilates, Yoga, Dancing, Walking, Biking, Hiking.
Which one I choose totally depends on the season, but these are what I pull from.
This is another great keystone habit that can be a catalyst for other habits.
When you exercise, it:
-Gives you extra energy, which helps with getting things done
-Helps you sleep better and faster (which in turn helps with the sleep habit)
-Makes you more likely to choose healthier food options
-Helps you feel better and less likely to reach for comfort food, or caffeine
3. Morning Wellness Routine
Ok, this might seem a little vague at first, but hear me out. One of the things that can really help me stay on track is to have a morning ritual.
A few of the things I do are to start my diffuser in the kitchen, drink a glass of water with Lemon essential oil, take my supplements, and make a cup of tea.
By starting my day giving my body things it needs, I am getting a bit of self care, and starting my day off well. And for some reason, it seems to help me make better food choices later in the day as well as reminding me to stay more in tune with my body and what it needs.
-Gives you a good start to your morning
-Can aid in detoxing (if you choose to add in some lemon water, or other drinks/oils, etc..
-Helps you stop and think about what your body needs
-Gets a glass or two of water in your system BEFORE the food/coffee
-Helps you be more mindful during the day about what you are putting in your body
-Gives you a spot of self care to get yourself ready for the rest of the day
4. Plan your day the night before
If I don’t have at the very least, a general idea of what I need to do or want to accomplish the next day, it will get away from me and I’ll float through it feeling unsatisfied and unproductive.
I use a bullet journal with a Lechturn notebook and list out any appointments, what absolutely needs to get done, and about 3 priority things for work and/or home life.
You can use a planner, Google calendars, whatever works for you that you will actually use!
Try sitting down the night before and thinking through your day.
-Anything that HAS to get done that day
-Top 3 priorities for work/home life
-If you are exercising that day, write down when
-Anything that needs to be gathered or prepared
Then after you write it down/type it in, lay out the things you need so you aren’t running around last minute getting frazzled because you can’t find the library book that is due, or the shirt you need.
If you have Mommy brain like me, then before you leave the house, take a quick look at your list of things you needed to take RIGHT BEFORE you walk out the door. Half the time, I’ll find what I need but then get rushed and forget to get it actually IN the car!
Then, DO the hardest item on your list first thing in the morning. You will feel so accomplished and be much more motivated to tackle the other stuff.
-Less rushing and feeling anxious and frazzled
-Get more done
-Have clearer focus and purpose moving through your day
-More motivation and ability to tackle other habits you want to change
-More likely to stick to healthy food choices when you are prepared and not rushing around trying to find something quick and easy.
5. Meditation/Prayer/Quiet Time
You may wonder how this can habit can kickstart your wellness, but starting your day with some silence or prayer and spending time in the Word can have a huge impact on the rest of your day.
It goes back to getting your morning started off on a good note, and refocusing on your priorities, purpose, and goals.
And let me tell you, I am a much happier and nicer person to be around if I’ve spent time with the Lord first thing and committed my day into His hands.
I find I am more settled, less stressed, have more renewed purpose going through my day and am more likely to remember to turn to Him, stop and pray if I’m starting to lose it with the kids, or get anxious, etc…
And then there’s all the physical benefits to our body that come with deep breathing and lowering our stress levels as well.
For me, this works the best as part of my morning routine before the kids get up. It’s also great if you can, to take 5 or 15 minutes throughout the day, or in the afternoon to help you relax, clear your head, and refocus.
Pick a time, set a timer and try it.
-Lowers stress levels
-Clears your mind
-Helps you to refocus on priorities, purpose, and goals
-Starts your day well
-Deep breathing helps release toxins and tension, helps with pain, your digestion, your immune system, and soo much more!
So, there’s just a few keystone habits that can kickstart your wellness goals! Which one are you going to start with?
I’d love to hear which you choose and how you decide to implement it! Let me know! And if you have any other habits or tips to add, post them in the comments!
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