Ever wondered how two people of a similar age, with equal demands on their time, equal pressures and stresses in life can be so different – one healthy, the other not? Well, having coached a number of women and men to fitness, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 habits I’ve most regularly observed that have helped them achieve greater health (with a slight nod to Stephen Covey).
- They take responsibility and don’t make excuses – Healthy people own their mistakes. If they slip up with their eating or miss a workout session, they get straight back on it and think “how can I do better next time?”
- They have goals – It’s easier to know where you’re pointing the arrow if you have a target to aim for. Healthy people set goals with deadlines to motivate themselves and to succeed.
- They prioritise and build exercise into their routine – They make the time to exercise at least three times each week. The sessions needn’t be long, but they’re purposeful and linked to their goals.
- They plan ahead – Yes, life will throw the odd curveball, but healthy people know when they’re exercising. This also includes planning some space in their diary for fun and joy. Life shouldn’t be all hard work!
- They consider what they put into their bodies – Healthy people select foods that they know will nourish their bodies, not deplete them. They never miss breakfast, eat “clean” most of the time (4-5 days per week), drink 2 litres of water daily, and if they drink alcohol, they do so no more than 1-2 times per week.
- They are ready to put themselves first once in a while – There’s a great analogy, which I’m sure that I’ll come back to again. When you’re on an airplane and the inflight steward is running through the emergency drill, you’re reminded to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping anyone else. Why? Because how can you take care of anyone else if you can’t first take care of yourself? It’s the same with your health. This isn’t being selfish. It’s ensuring that you’re fit and well enough to take care of your loved ones properly or to do a good job at work.
- They are curious about the world – Healthy people don’t like to stagnate. They realise that exercise does not have to be a chore, but like to try new things, including different types of exercise or new ways to incorporate more movement into everyday life.
If you’re ready to get healthy (or healthier), try incorporating some of these habits into your own lifestyle and see how you get on.