How many times have you heard the word "habit?" By definition, a habit is a routine or behavior repeated regularly and often subconsciously. So if forming a habit is subconscious, how long does it take to make it an official behavior? Many experts say 21 days, but according to Today, it can take up to 66 days. No matter how long it takes for your healthy habits to form, here are 17 practices that will soon become habits:
Plan your meals. Sit down and plan out your meals (including snacks) each week. Aim to purchase only those foods at the grocery store.
Eat Breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal and starts your day off right. Eating three meals a day plus a snack keeps your metabolism going — so long as you aren't eating that third meal late at night. For some easy but healthy breakfast recipes, click here.
Count your calories. Even if you count them for a month, do it so you get an idea of what your daily caloric intake looks like. There are tons of great apps that have deep databases of nutrition information. You can look up restaurant meals, fruits, veggies, cheese and any other ingredients at home.
Plan your workouts. Schedule exercising on your calendar. Make it a part of your day instead of something you try to get to.
Sleep. Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep every night to recharge your body.
Drink Water. Water is so important to a healthy diet. Ditch the soda, lemonade and other sugar-loaded drinks and stick with water.
Find Fit Friends. Even if you don't work out together, having a friend who shares the same health and fitness goals is great for accountability and motivation.
Get rid of junk food. Find healthy alternatives to your favorite sweet treats. Most junk food, like Pop Tarts, can be made at home and they taste even better! Need more ideas for healthy snacks? Click here!
Be active with your family. Take a walk after dinner with your kids, play a game of catch or ride bikes together!
Experiment with new foods. Try a recipe or food that you have never tried before. It might just end up as one of your favorites.
Find your workout. Some people run, some spin, some bike, some walk, etc. Find the exercise that works for you and stick with it. If you find yourself getting bored, switch it up! Don't get too attached to your routine.
Take time for yourself. So many of us do so much for others that we forget to take time to take care of ourselves. Make sure you get to enjoy yourself for at least 30 minutes a day.
Work your brain. Keeping your brain healthy is just as important as your heart and body. Do puzzles, try a new recipe or way of cooking. You can even do something as simple as wearing your watch on the opposite wrist.
Try something new. Take a cooking class, try a new exercise, go bungee jumping — just do something every so often that pushes you out of your comfort zone to show yourself that you are capable of just about anything.
Laugh. Laugh often and make sure to find humor in your life. Don't take things so seriously that you forget to kick back and have fun once in a while.
Set Goals. Set a health or fitness goal for yourself, whether it's to run a half marathon, do a triathlon, lift 100 pounds or simply eat healthier. Just give yourself something to work toward and have fun throughout the journey!
Go out with friends or your spouse. Take time to socialize, join a book club or go to dinner with friends or with your spouse. Are there any healthy habits that we missed? Please be sure to share them in the comments below so we can add them!