Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
On tap this month: skills, drills, and creating habits that stick! And some brain healthy news just to liven up the content a bit 🙂
If I asked you to name a skill that affects your balance, your movement, your anxiety levels and your pain levels, what skill would you name?
I’ll even give you a hint: it’s a visual skill.
Did you come up with the correct answer? It’s your peripheral vision and it’s an IMPORTANT skill because of the many health factors it influences. The good news is that peripheral vision is trainable, and I’ll bet yours could use some improvement. Check this out!
Here’s How to Create New Habits That Stick
Adopting a new healthy habit is exciting. And then the shine wears off as the weeks and months pass. There are tips that boost your chances of staying on track, though.
Start with the right reason. Make sure you’re adopting the habit for yourself, because you want to and not because someone else is pressuring you.
Be specific about your target behavior. Write three-month goals (where you want to be with your habit) and weekly behavioral goals (what you need to do to get there).
Assemble your posse. Invite one or more people to encourage you as you work on your new habit. Be specific; if you prefer text check-ins or more public shout-outs, say so.
Grease the skids. Aiming to increase vegetable servings? Stock your fridge, freezer and cupboards with appealing options. Starting a morning exercise routine? Set your playlist and alarm, put your clothes and shoes out the night before and get to bed a little earlier.
Book it. Schedule action items related to your new behavior—along with time to actually practice it—and alerts.
Give it a whirl. Don’t feel completely comfortable with your new habit right away. That’s fine. Comfort comes over time. The important thing is to get started, as action creates more action.
Track it. Keep your system simple; a star on your calendar or checking a box on an app will work. Personalize your tracking system so it works for you. You will make progress!
Keep a positive mindset. You’re not going to love eating more vegetables, meditating or strength training every time. Do your best to stay focused on what’s going well and how your new habit makes you feel. Are you more alert, happier or calmer when you get it done?
Stick With It
Be flexible. Did you get pulled into a work meeting and can’t go for your walk? Were you up all night with a sick child and have no energy to chop veggies? Life happens
With a flexible mindset, you acknowledge the circumstance and pivot to plan B—or try again tomorrow. Habit-building isn’t an all-or-nothing process; it’s more like a series of experiments. Sometimes you’ll need to adjust your plans or expectations to keep moving forward.
Get curious. Miss a day? Be kind and nonjudgmental with this approach: “I wonder why that happened. What could I do differently next time?” Everyone stumbles; shake it off and learn from it.
Keep things fresh and interesting. Regularly infuse your habit with new elements, such as trying new workout formats, equipment or locations, experimenting with new recipes or cooking techniques, or practicing new breathing techniques.
Make it social. Combine your habit with friendly fun. Host a whole-food, plant-based potluck, train with a friend for a 5K or take a dance class with your partner. Integrating healthy habits with your social life makes them easier to maintain and more fun, too!
Be patient with yourself throughout the process of building a new habit and turning it into a routine.
If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.
Do You Have Neck and Shoulder Tension?
Maybe a better question is who doesn’t have neck and shoulder tension? Whichever way we ask the question, the answer is the same: we all carry this tension and we all need relief.
Here’s a simple drill that addresses the biggest muscles of your neck and upper back. It only takes a few seconds. It’s become my go-to drill for relief so I’m passing it along to you!
Don’t forget to take a look at all the new and wonderful Brain Fitness information I’ve added to my site. After all, you do want your brain span to equal your lifespan, right 🙂