Creating healthy habits is something that most people strive for when they start looking for a better quality of life, relationships, finances, and living overall. Today I want to share my top 12 healthy habits that bring major results, but first… let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
“Healthy habits” is quite a generic term. Anything from drinking (filtered) water, exercising more regularly, to winning CrossFit games and writing every day in order to publish a book can qualify as a chain of habits that become values and create your destiny. Although most of us mortals have a major issue with habits.
They don’t stick. Wait. That’s not right. We don’t make them stick.
We have the best intentions to better ourselves whether it’s working on our physical or emotional state. It can be so daunting. It takes time, effort, grit, discipline, willpower, endless positivity, determination, practice and some premium-priced magic powder you can never buy online but seals the deal. And often that’s not enough.
How I’ve created healthy habits
I’ve been a habit maker and self-improvement junkie since I was little. I was re-organizing my closet, writing step-by-step plans to achieve my goals, breaking down major projects into pieces and annoying my brother with my never-ending determination. My longest project took me 11 years – I wanted to immigrate and become a citizen in the US. #boom
It included a fair share of perfectionism too (if you followed my journey for a while, I’ve been an RP, a recovering perfectionist, for a while). Partially, my unique journey was half-determined by my strict parents brought up in the USSR, and also by the society I lived in. Russians are tough and demand a lot from their kids. For example, I could practice one passage on my piano for 6-8 hours until my little fingers couldn’t do it anymore in order to perfect it for my teacher’s approval.
Naturally, I grew up to be very organized, disciplined, and motivated. I often say it with pride…this helped me to achieve every single goal I set my mind to, whether it was immigrating to my dream country, starting the business I always wanted, being published as a writer, etc.
HOLD ON A SECOND. Don’t despair if you are not highly motivated, disciplined, and organized. If you’re a creative soul, love chaos, can’t stand schedules and planners and only work on something when your muse comes to visit, it’s okay!
These habits I want to talk about are absolutely achievable for anyone. These healthy habits brought major results to my life and changed the life of my clients.
Here’s how to approach these habits:
- Pick one habit. Choose the one that matters most to you right now. Listen to your gut. I know you have a goal in mind you want to achieve. What is number one step on your way to achieving it? That’s your habit!
- Implement for 30 days. Allow yourself to have wins and fails. Take one day, one step, one meal, one hour at a time. Don’t allow the pressure of being perfect and doing it perfectly get you. Perfection doesn’t exist.
- Make it non-negotiable.
- Find support to make sure you’re on track. Ask family, friends, your bestie, your mom, or hire a coach.
- Move onto other habits you want to implement.Let’s take a look at those 12 healthy habits I mentioned that can bring major results to your life.
12 Healthy Habits That Bring Major Results
1. Find time for you
One of the top reasons most of my clients say they didn’t succeed in their journey before is “I didn’t have time”. When I hear that someone doesn’t have time. I know exactly what it means. It means you didn’t make it your priority. Possibly, it didn’t hit you yet. It didn’t stop your life. You didn’t hit the rock bottom. It’s alright, because unless you’re ready…you won’t have time.
How we find the time.
I. Schedule it.
Mark your calendar. Set up notifications. Just like any other “important” meeting, schedule your habits and steps to achieve it every day. Find the smallest windows in your schedule and utilize them. Got a 30-minute lunch break? Eat for 15, walk for 15 minutes. For example, I schedule a daily gratitude exercise and some writing because they are the habits I slack on often. Start small by finding 5 extra minutes for you. You got this!
II. Make it your priority.
Because if you don’t, it’s not happening. Mark it urgent, important, and non-negotiable and stick to it for a month. It gets easier after that.
III. Seek support/outsource/delegate.
Most of us hate asking for help. We have some strengths we’re trying to bank on, but asking for help seems like an apparent weakness. Seeking support and outsourcing something you’re not good with or something that takes a lot of your time/space is a great strength. Basically, you’re admitting you’re a bad*ss in some areas of life that are of importance to you and delegating the things you’re not great at to those who kick butt doing those! Be a boss of your life, get in charge, and hire/ask for help. Above all, extra support, advice, and guidance will provide you a nice cushion to focus on you!
2. Eat your rainbow.
If there is one thing you could do for your health, no matter what kind of ancestral or modern diet cult you belong to is to eat more vegetables.
1) they are an incredible source of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber
2) they fill you up and make your digestion work like a clock
3) If you eat more veggies, you’ll crave more veggies (instead craving processed crap)
4) they are the best source of complex carbs (simple carbs will make you gain weight quickly unless you’re Michael Phelps)
This healthy habit is going to bring major, dramatic results especially if you’re trying to balance your weight, improve your energy levels, and feel good daily.
3. Sleep like it’s your job.
Maybe you’re a hustler or career ladder climber – I don’t care. I love you enough to tell you this: you got to get some good z’s, darling. Your skin will glow, you’ll be in the most amazing mood, you’ll be able to keep those unnecessary pounds off, and generally, more sleep = more health. Don’t believe me? Check out this study.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to get better sleep in less time
4. Stop the fatphobia
It’s 19th-century news now that fat causes heart attacks (here’s proof). One thing to remember: fat doesn’t make you fat.
Dietary fat ≠ equal your cholesterol levels. So eat up your steak, avocados, cheese (if tolerant), and mac nuts.
How to eat more fats?
- Use the good cooking oils to make your meals. Avocado, olive oil, coconut products, and oil are the best sources of monounsaturated fat and have an amazing Omega 3:6 ratio (the more of 3s you get, the better).
- Start your morning with fat+protein combo to balance your sugar levels. If you’re chugging a tall glass of “healthy” orange juice in the morning, followed up by a bagel or waffles (possibly, followed up by a granola bar a couple of hours later)…you’re setting yourself up for craving more sugar and abusing your insulin production. Eggs, avocados, Bulletproof coffee, butter, veggies, breakfast meat are great alternatives to conventional stuff your mom told you to eat.
- Snack on fatty/protein filled foods. Eat fattier snacks – nuts, cheese, seeds, and avoid processed carbs when you increase your fat intake. In fact, eat leftovers for snacks – smoked or baked salmon, deli meat (avoid nitrates), rotisserie chicken, steak – you name it! After all, snacks don’t have to come in a Doritos-shaped bag!
5. Stress less
Avoiding chronic stress or taking steps to conquer it is one of the best things you can do for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Stress causes illness and wears us out.
My favorite ways to handle stress?
- Reduce the importance.
First of all, I always ask myself if what stresses me out will matter in 10 years. Often, the answer is no. Then I move onto the next important thing!
- Shift focus to things that are less important yet impactful.
EXAMPLE If your boss is stressing you out at the moment, focus on the next meeting with your colleagues that will help resolve the tensions instead of focusing on “how my boss is stressing me out”. When you can actually do something about the situation, you’ll be more motivated to get on with it.
- Exercise, meditate and keep eating well.
Those will create a steady baseline for you and help you avoid the additional pressure.
- Sleep more, take supplements.
Sleep it off like a pro. Often when my anxiety kicks in and nothing helps, I take a nap. Works like a charm. Another option is to consult with your doctor and see if you need to supplement for sweeter dreams.
- Talk to a friend/counselor.
It’s super therapeutic to talk to the right person and share your worries.
6. Move your booty (or body)
I’m not the first person to tell you how important the movement is. Movement, that’s right. You can choose to call it “training”, “working out”, or “exercise” – I think they all differ slightly. But as a health coach, I’ll tell you a secret – you don’t need 5 workouts a week. You need movement. Get off your butt, go for a walk, do 10-15 minutes of bodyweight work. Sweat it out once in a while with a good sprint session. But remember: the more you move throughout the day, the better you’re going to feel (and prolong your life as a side effect).
7. Let go of your perfectionism
I’m an RP. A recovering perfectionist. I hope in a while I’ll start an organization similar to AA that helps women and men recover :). Perfectionism was a part of me for 20+ years. I thought as a high achiever, I always have to have it to be successful.
Need I say I was wrong. It is destructive and makes you feel unfulfilled all the time. In addition, it also causes major anxiety, lack of satisfaction, depression and emotional meltdowns.
The best thing you can do? Let it go.
- Accept the imperfections. They are a part of life. Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s an illusion. Use the imperfect objects and qualities in your life daily, and find a unique beauty in them.
- Get yourself some Brene Brown books. “The Gifts of Imperfections” and “Dare to Lead” are my favorite.
- Take it one day at a time – it’s definitely a process but by letting things go and striving to excellence instead of perfection you’ll find much more joy in your day.
8. Ask for help
As I mentioned in #1, this is not something we like to do. No guy likes to ask for directions but ladies don’t lag behind too much. We’d rather go down the rabbit hole of our own research that is as long as a tunnel to China. Hire an expert to help you create the healthiest, most powerful habits. It might be a personal trainer, health coach, manifestation coach or career coach – you will know who you need. Shortcuts are good when you’ve got the right support.
Create a habit of asking when you know you’re going to waste a lot of time researching or dwelling on something.
9. Love yourself
Ahhh, this is my favorite topic. It goes well together with a side of “goodbye perfectionism” and “I don’t have time for me”.
The more I work with women, the more I realize how often we neglect loving, accepting, and nurturing ourselves. We’re too harsh criticizing our thighs, noses, temper, or relationships role. As a result, we’re stuck in thought patterns that don’t help us grow.
STOP THAT. Look in the mirror – you’re a beautiful soul who can do, be, and create anything you want in your life right now. You don’t need to change much – you’ve got a lot of greatness in you already. Take the first step and tell yourself a compliment. Also, work through your limiting beliefs (start with Louise Hay), and learn to treat yourself kindly.
10. Quit dieting
It’s super simple (I know you’ve been told otherwise)
- Start eating real food. Veggies, meat, healthy fats.
- Eat when hungry.
- Don’t eat when you’re not.
- Drink water.
- Avoid processed sugars, grains, and bad oils (canola and soybean to start).
- Keep it simple.
If you look like a flamingo already (or have any neck pain/headaches), it’s time to take a break. Trust me, I was a serious phone junkie for a while. But then you 1) miss out on real life 2) have a permanent FOMO 3) waste a lot of time 4) don’t get your happiness/ satisfaction levels you deserve
I go on a social media detoxes once in a while, but even such a simple trick as putting your phone in the airplane mode from 9 PM to 9 AM the next day will do! This is by far my favorite new habit!
12. Connect with others
Because we live in a society (often troublesome, but still), we are social creatures (or vise versa?). If you’ve seen one of those photoshopped memes on the internet how funny we look when the phones are taken out of the picture….you get the gist. Talk to someone for 1-2 hours without looking at your phone or computer screen. Sit on your porch and stare at the horizon. Play with your dog. Drop by your neighbor’s house and bring some cookies. Have game nights. Go for a walk. Don’t miss out on life with the ones you love.
What about you – what healthy habits brought you some major results? Tell me below!
Anya Perry battled boring diets, low energy, and declining health for over 10 years before she found what works. Now, she helps women achieve their dream state of health, fitness, and vitality… without the struggles, battles of miserable diets and yo-yo results. She can’t live without coffee and challenges.