Mini Habits as Easy Steps to Healthy Habits

mini health habits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build your healthy habits by taking one step at a time.

What is a mini habit? Some small task you choose that will help you build into automatically repeating this healthy habit daily.

Think about what you can do 5 minutes or less. The goal here is to get you in a pattern that supports your healthy habit on a daily basis. Bigger goals often fail because they are too hard to fit into your busy schedule. Derek Doepker wrote a book: The Healthy Habit Revolution. See this book for a full program on how mini habits can be developed in 21 days.

Get started on  healthy habits with easy mini steps.

The idea of a mini habit is just to get you started. Pick 1-3 healthy habits and plan on doing each of them for 1-5 min daily for 21 days. This what I liked most, the idea of just get started.

Think that is too easy? Wrong, it is a proven way to create the healthy habit that gets you started. Momentum creates motivation. So one push up every day or eating one extra carrot a day adds up to something that you will do on a routine basis.

What would 5 minutes of quiet time do for you as a way to rest your brain?

What makes this mini habit work is it is so easy to do it. You really have no excuse to avoid or not do this new healthy habit. While you might skip a 15-20 min exercise routine on a busy day, you are much less likely to skip 1-3 min of exercise.

Will 3 minutes of exercise make you more fit? Not today, but think of 3 minutes X 21 days and consider how much exercise you just added to your overall activity level.

If you have ever failed at goals or resolutions, this method of mini healthy habits is a good option for you to try.

Here are some guidelines to picking good mini habits:

  • Take your mini habit seriously- pick what you personally want to improve
  • Your habit has to require some effort, make it significant for your needs
  • Avoid the temptation to make it too long, your goal is daily success
  • Remember you can always choose to overachieve and to more each day
  • Set up accountability for your mini habit, tell people what you are doing

At the end of 21 days, you will have set up patterns that give you a solid foundation to keep building on your health. That is the proven reason small steps lead to bigger actions. The success that you have in small mini habits will lead you to expand and improve into healthy habits for life. So this year start small for bigger gains.

Contact Coach Gwen for accountability that will keep you on track.

Contact Coach Gwen for a complimentary call

 

Words can be used as Weapons

Words can be used as weapons

Words can be used to shame, blamarchere, humiliate, hurt, discourage and intimidate.

Words used as weapons can create emotional distress even when the intentions are careless instead of deliberate. Words can be thrown out in anger or frustration. Words can be used in a deliberate pattern of verbal abuse. I think we fail to recognize the effect of verbal abuse on our physical and emotional health. We have been told to toughen up and ignore hurt feelings, that we are too sensitive and cannot take a joke.

 

In reality your response or understanding of the intended meaning of words is what counts. If you think you have been insulted or ridiculed: then you have been. Trust your internal instinct on how the words were intended.

Suzette Haden Elgin reminds us, “ That verbal violence is a toxic menace. The majority of illnesses and disorders that develop in the workplace have emotional stress as their direct or indirect cause.” (1.)

Words can be carefully crafted as a verbal attack. Elgin describes here how

to recognize the “Verbal Attack Pattern”.

“The most reliable clue you have to verbal abuse is to listen to how different words are stressed in the spoken sentence. Listen for odd or abnormal emphasis to be placed on words spoken.”

Examples: If you really cared about your health–you would get off the couch and start exercising

What is so difficult about eating healthy? It is so simple any one could do it.

In both these examples the attacker is not interested in your answer.

These words are not used to encourage or support. A verbal attack is meant to injure, blame or shame. You don’t have to apologize or explain when under attack. Here are some short ideas about how to defuse a verbal attack.

The attack will include a bait: Some part of the sentence will attack you personally and expect you to defend against that part of the sentence.

Your best defense is to recognize that attack pattern and ignore the bait.

Instead keep your voice calm and address the situation at hand or agree with something that has been said.

All words spoken are not absolute truths. Just by understanding and recognizing a verbal attack can help you reduce its impact or power to inflict pain. It saddens me to realize how often we accept criticism as our fault without questioning the intention behind the words spoken to us. My hope is to raise awareness of the words we hear and speak. That we focus on how to communicate with sensitivity to others and learn to defuse or deflect words used as weapons. I have gathered many tools and skills over the years as a martial arts instructor and teacher of verbal self-defense. I hope this blog gives you some new ideas and would be happy to discuss your specific situations with a coaching call. Schedule a call with Coach Gwen

Elgin, S. (2000). The gentle art of verbal self-defense at work. Paramus, NJ. : Prentice Hall Press

 

 

How to manage your stress

stress does not have to wreck your day

stress does not have to wreck your day

Stress is a normal reaction to events that occur around us. How we manage or react to stressful situations is the key to stress being a positive challenge or a negative impact on our health. Here are some ideas to put into action so your life feels more under your control.

  1. Practice gratitude. This one action alone has been linked to increased happiness. Start small with writing down one thing that you are grateful for at the end of every day.
  2. Positive self talk. Too often our internal self talk is negative and critical. How helpful is that to learning from our mistakes? Listen to your own self talk. Be kind to yourself and consider what you have achieved every day instead of what is left undone
  3. Learn to say no.  Stop saying yes to all requests or taking on new responsibilities. This is the path towards overwhelm. Stop and consider what each request really means. Does this request fit my goals? What will I learn? What will I have to give up to start this new project. Then only say yes if this new idea fits your needs.
  4. Plan ahead. Take the time to plan out your day or your week. You make better decisions on what is important when you are focused on what you need. Identify one most important thing for each day.
  5. Avoid negative people. You know who they are. These are the people who complain, blame and point out the negative of every situation.
  6. Reduce your clutter. I know why we get piles of things, there never seems enough time to deal with the  stuff on our desk or in a closet. Start small and take 30 min to sort out your piles.  See how it feels to clear out one area.
  7. Socialize with friends.  Being out with other people in a social setting gives you a different perspective on life. A strong connection with other people supports your own wellbeing and emotional health.
  8. Play. Play with your kids, your friends and your pets. Do something fun. Laughter and play are great ways to lighten your mood.
  9. Practice self care. Be aware of what you need to recharge or reenergize at the end of a busy day. Take the time to do something nice for yourself today.
  10. Appreciate beauty around you.  Sometimes we get so stuck in the clutter of our brain that we forget to focus on the external environment. Stop and notice the bigger things in life. Admire a sunrise, clouds, work of art or anything that grabs your attention.

Any change takes a while to become a habit. Try one of these ideas and see what happens. A healthy lifestyle is based on making small changes over time. Get started by takin this stress assessment. Do you know your stress triggers?

Don’t Think and Drive

Don’t Think and Drive at the Same Time

It was 5 am in the morning. I was on time for my drive to the airport, all packed and early with plenty of time to make my flight back home. My brain started going through my own check list. What do I need to do when I get home? What did I leave unfinished in NJ? What did I miss that was on the important to do list this trip?  Then, Bam! I realize I just drove right past the airport exit off  I 95. This is not a small exit; it has multiple lanes and many signs for anyone who is not lost inside of their own head. Panic time. I have no idea, no map and no person sitting next to me to help make decisions on how to get back to the airport in a timely manner. So, I do the next best thing and start talking to myself. You have all done this, inside of your head or out loud.

“I can’t believe you missed that exit, what where you thinking? Now what if you miss your flight?” My rationale, calm side jumps in: “Slow down. Start looking around; just take the next exit, other people must miss that exit. There will be other signs. Stop thinking so hard and start looking around.” Now I have an external focus with a clear need to pay attention. Indeed I pick an exit that seems to go in the general direction I guess the airport might be located. There it is a small picture sign of an airplane. Now there is nothing going on in my brain except looking for pictures of airplanes and following the arrows.

Wouldn’t it me nice if all of our choices in life were so clearly marked?  That we actually had physical arrows that pointed out the best choice for all important decisions. Maybe we do have more signs that help us choose and we are too busy inside our heads to look out and see them.

My thoughts for the day:  Be more aware of my surroundings.  Look around and notice what is going on outside of my head. Stay in the moment. Find a quiet place and time for my brain to do mental reviews.

Projects

What is a project?  I call a project anything that takes more than one step. A project needs some thought and planning to help it run smoothly for you. I find that the reason my to do list keeps growing is because many things on there are more than one step. So I take one action and then there is always a follow up action. This ongoing list seems endless and I don’t feel like I really get anything done by just using a to do list. What has helped me is to take all the multiple step items off that list and set them up as a project. A project gets it’s own page in my notebook where I can list out all the actions needed to finish it.  Here I feel real progress when I check one off and move to the next item. When I get stuck on a project, I ask myself this question: What is the next action?

Take any project that is too big or overwhelming and break it down into steps.

Start with imagining the finish of the project. What will the final outcome look like for you? How will you feel to complete this project? How important is this to you?  All these questions help you decide what projects are the most important for you to focus on today. List every step you will need to before you even start out on one action.  Do all the thinking up front before you start taking actions. When I get in a hurry, I take any action which keeps me busy. Do I want to keep busy or make the best use of my time? Try this method to keep your next project moving forward instead of side ways.  Decide what five actions you could take to start on the big project and do those. Pick a time period between 20-40 minutes and just commit to spending that amount of time on the project every week or every day.