It is no surprise that 2020 wasn’t the year anyone had planned for. Regardless of what you personally went through, it is a great time to say goodbye to this year and move forward. Here is a list of 21 healthy habits for 2021 that will be a great asset to your health and well-being in 2021.
21 Healthy Habits for 2021
1. Spend More Time Reading
A wonderful healthy habit to start in 2021 is to read more. This can be something you read for fun, reading for learning, or a little bit of both. Choose your preferred style of reading, whether that means getting a physical hardcover or paperback book, renting books from the library, or listening to audiobooks. No matter which one you go with, it can be a wonderful activity for your mind and mental health.
2. Help Out Your Community
Why not give back a little to your community? There are many ways to do this, from volunteering your time, to donating food to a local shelter. You will get a lot of benefits on your own from donating your time or money to people in need right where you live, and of course you help others at the same time.
3. Budget Your Money
Part of being healthy and balanced is with your lifestyle choices, like what you do with your money. If you currently have no idea what you spend your money on and have no idea how much is in your savings account, then it’s time to make budgeting and personal finance a priority.
4. Recycle and Reuse
Help save the environment and lower your own carbon footprint by recycling and reusing more this year. This is so easy to do and doesn’t require a lot more time than what you already spend. Just save your plastic bottles and aluminum cans to be put in the recycling bin where you live, reuse when you can, and try to avoid purchasing items with unnecessary packaging.
5. Improve Your Mindset
You can boost your mental health and get a lot of clarity just by focusing on changing your mindset this year. How can you do that? By trying to think positive and being mindful more often. You can’t completely get rid of every negative thought, but what you can do is acknowledge them, then find a way to flip it in your mind to something a little more positive.
6. Get More Movement
When it comes to improving your physical health this year, it doesn’t get much better than exercise. This doesn’t mean you need to commit to a strict workout schedule or go to a local boot camp class. It can be as simple as moving your body every day. Maybe your new healthy habit is to do yoga once a week, or you try to go on a week a few days each week with friends. You might try at-home workouts or sign up for a gym. Any form of movement is going to be great for your body.
7. Focus on a Balanced Diet
Instead of trying to go on a crash diet, just put your focus on nutrition and balance. Think of foods you already enjoy that are good for you, and build meals from that. If there is a certain lettuce you prefer, add some favorite veggies and a protein and have salads for lunch. Try to add more fruits to your breakfast or switch to oatmeal, and eat dinner as a family as many days out of the week as you can. It is all about small, sustainable changes.
8. Drink Your Water
Yep, you knew this one was coming! One of the best healthy habits you can incorporate into your life this year is to drink more water. You can start slow if you’re not in the habit of drinking a lot of water. Start your day with a glass of water before having your coffee, or drink a little water before each meal or snack. This provides simple reminders and helps you turn it into a habit.
9. Spend Less Time on Your Phone
For your emotional and mental health, try to spend a little less time on your phone. Maybe this means not using it when you first wake up and before you go to bed, or you decide to put it away during meals and when you are out with your friends. Just try to make a habit of using it a little less every day, and being present a little more.
10. Spend More Time Outside
Get more vitamin D, increase your energy levels, and give your skin some love by spending more time outside. You can choose how best to spend time outdoors, whether that means working on your garden, sitting on the patio with your kids, or going for a walk every day before the sun goes down.
11. Choose Monthly Goals
Instead of worrying about quarterly or yearly goals, why not break them up into monthly goals? It makes your long-term goals more achievable, plus allows you something to focus on each month. These can be personal goals, health goals, or work goals. You can have a different one each month, or create goals that will help you work toward what you want to achieve by the end of the year.
12. Eat the Frog
Eating the frog means to get your biggest and most difficult or time-consuming task done first. By doing this, you start your day off productive and get something big to cross of your to-do list right away. This might mean one big task that needs to be done, or it can be a list of 2-3 of your MITs, or most important tasks, that you want to do first thing in the morning.
13. Create Healthy Daily Routines
Choose the healthy habits you want to incorporate into your life, then turn them into a routine. This is a great time to learn about habit stacking. With habit stacking, you are taking a small group of habits all related to each other, that can be placed in one of your routines.
For example, it might mean filling up your water bottle, putting workout clothes on, and heading out the door for a workout. Or maybe you want a nighttime routine where you start getting ready for bed and have a number of tasks all related to each other in your bedtime routine.
14. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness allows you to stay present and be mindful of what you are thinking or feeling without judgment. This year, try to stay in the moment as much as you can, whether you are sitting down to eat a meal, spending time with friends, or working on a project.
15. Try Meditation
For stress relief this year, it will be well worth your time to learn and practice meditating. Meditation apps exist that will help you start meditating with just a few minutes every day, until you can do it on your own without any added guidance.
16. Improve Your Sleep
With a simple nighttime routine, you can be on your way to improved sleep. Your nighttime routine is simply the tasks you complete before bed. This can be turning off your phone and television, reading a chapter from your book, having a relaxing cup of tea, taking a bath, meditating, journaling, or anything else that you feel will get you into a restful state.
17. Make Your Bed
The simple act of making your bed in the morning can have a drastic effect on how you feel throughout the day. After you wake up and before you do anything else, just take a couple of minutes to make your bed. It tells your mind that it’s time to get up and not jump back into your cozy bed, but it also helps you to have that little jumpstart of energy.
18. Take Your Vitamins
Don’t forget to take your vitamins! Start a habit of taking vitamins for your health, that have been approved by your doctor. Keep them somewhere that you will see every day and can take them around the same time.
19. Write in a Journal
With just 5-10 minutes a day, you can start benefiting from journaling. If you are not in the habit of writing in this sort of health journal, start now. Write about what you ate, how much you exercised, how well you took care of yourself, what are grateful for. Chart your progress, track your goals or anything else that comes to mind in terms of your self-care rituals.
20. Practice Gratitude
If you don’t want to write in a journal, at least write down 5-10 things you are grateful for every day. This only takes a couple of minutes and allows you to have more appreciation for the good things in your life.
21. Practice Self-Care
YOU should also be a priority in your life. Self-care is absolutely essential, so start a self-care morning routine and make it a habitThere are no rules about what is and isn’t self-care, as long as it is something you do for yourself.
Behavior Change is a Process
The first thing you need to know about behavior change is that it is a process and one that times time.
It requires practice, persistence, and an understanding that it isn’t going to change overnight. The reason people struggle with changing their habits is that they don’t bother looking at their behaviors. The cues and triggers that cause them to make certain choices.
By first developing the mindset that it is a process and about changing your behaviors into healthier ones, you will be able to change your habits much more effectively.