When trying to live a healthy lifestyle, developing a healthy behaviors list is a great way to start. Lists help you focus on prioritizing and implementing your goals. They can help you create order in this unorderly world we live in. Lists hold you accountable.
Should you make a Healthy Behaviors List? Yes, you absolutely should.
Things like healthy eating and physical activity play a major role in the changes you’ll see. Some of those changes will be small changes while others will be large. We’ll discuss some of the healthy habits you should add to your list to assure you accomplish your goal of living a healthy lifestyle.
Benefits of Having a Healthy Behaviors List
We all know what a to-do list is and how it works. A to-do list is a collection of items that need to be accomplished.
Using a list offers a host of positive benefits. From holding you accountable to prioritizing your day, a list will give you guidance and stability. While you’d think having a list of things to do would cause stress in some, as the list gets smaller throughout the day, so will your stress levels. And I gotta say, that sense of accomplishment you feel when you cross the last one off is the best!
So What’s a Healthy Behaviors List?
A healthy behaviors list is simply a list of things to do that are healthy in nature. If you’re the type of person who already uses a daily to-do list, then just add healthy behaviors to that. If you don’t typically follow a daily to-do list, then start by simply writing down a healthy behavior goal you have and putting it in your pocket. Or better yet since we all carry smartphones, use the reminders app or similar to write down your health goals. I’d suggest making this a daily reminder so you’re encouraged every day to be healthy.
That’s it. It’s really that simple. A healthy behaviors list is simply a to-do list of healthy things you should do.
Read on to get some ideas for things to add to your list.
Top Goals to Add to Your List of Healthy Behaviors
Exercise and Fitness
Exercise should be on the top of everyone’s healthy behaviors list. Mental health and physical health are vastly improved with physical fitness. In just 30 minutes every day, you’ll begin seeing results in about a week.
Even if you’re a couch potato who works at a desk all day, any activity is better than nothing. The point is to get your blood pumping and your heart rate elevated. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a bike ride through the city, get your body moving.
Within time you’ll begin to notice healthy behavior changes in your body. Things like an improved heart rate, decreased blood pressure, better sleep, and more energy throughout the day are just a few. Your body releases endorphins and dopamine when you exercise which gives you that “happy” feeling. That’s something we all like.
Make exercise a daily goal on your list. Here are a few ideas.
- Jog or Walk
- Jump Rope
- Take the dog to the local park
- Have a catch with the kids
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Mountain Biking
- Swim at the beach
- Sprints up and down your driveway or in your yard
- Weight and Strength Training
Research has shown that people who spend time with family and loved ones have improved mental health. Spending time smiling and laughing with family decreases depression and decreases symptoms of anxiety and stress. Check out this great article by the University of Wyoming on Family Time.
Family is typically already on people’s daily lists. However, for a healthy lifestyle, you’ll want to make it a point to include family time in your list of goals.
Here are some suggestions to add to your list for family time.
- Backyard Camping with the Kids
- Movie Night with Pizza and Popcorn
- Visit an elderly relative for the afternoon
- Go for a hike in the woods
- Organize a family reunion
- Pick a day for games and rotate who gets to pick the game each week. No complaining!
- Make homemade pizza for dinner and each family member makes their own
Make it a goal on your list every day to eat healthily. That doesn’t mean salads for breakfast lunch and dinner either. If you’re new to healthy living and aren’t sure you’re ready to go vegan tomorrow, make your goal simple. Start with making your healthy behavior goal something like this, “Eat 1 fresh salad today with dinner”.
Incorporating diet into your healthy behaviors list will help your body benefit immensely. You’ll notice better skin and hair as well as energy and attitude. Your body gets what it needs to supply you efficiently.
Check out our recipe for overnight protein oats for an easy, quick and healthy breakfast.
To Track or Not to Track
If you want to get really serious with diet and lists, make it a goal to track your daily calories. This isn’t for everyone and I won’t get much into it here but the positive benefits I’ve received make it worth it for me. Weighing everything does get tedious and frustrating however I’m a “number tracking” type guy and love it.
I honestly believe that had I not started tracking my daily calorie intake I wouldn’t have lost over 50 pounds (as of this writing). Strict adherence to daily tracking of calories showed me that what I put in my body affects me physically as well as mentally. Sometimes a positive effect, sometimes negative.
Making it a daily goal to track what you’re putting in your body will potentially have you making better choices. Before I started tracking I would typically get 2-3 headaches a month. Debilitating, in my room with all the curtains closed type headaches. Tracking what I eat allowed me to determine that eating a ton of processed foods was causing my headaches. So now I try to steer clear of processed foods with loads of additives. I haven’t had a slight headache in almost a year. Knock on wood…
What are 10 Healthy Habits You Should Do Daily?
- Get Enough Sleep. 7-8 hours daily is recommended.
- Stay Active. 30 minutes of daily exercise should keep your health in check.
- Don’t Eat Junk Food. As tempting as that Snickers Bar is, the amount of added sugars could throw your body off for hours.
- Practice Mindfulness. Even 10 minutes of meditation or Yoga can make a world of difference to how your day goes.
- Be Thankful. You woke up this morning, right? What more could you ask for really?
- Try Something New. Learn a language or skill you’ve always wanted to. Try to keep your mind active every day.
- Laugh. Watch something funny, joke with friends, whatever gets you smiling and laughing.
- Spend Time With Family. Taking a few minutes every day to talk to a spouse, child, parent, or grandparent not only brightens your day, but they’ll most likely be smiling too.
- Do Something For You. Spend some time each day doing something that makes you happy. Whether it’s basking in the sun or reading a book snuggled in a blanket. Just spend some time with your best friend, you.
- Tell Yourself Something Positive. Each morning when you’re getting ready to tackle the day ahead, look at yourself in the mirror and express some positive affirmations. “Your hair looks great today!”, or “Great job losing that pound, keep it up!”. Even minor positive reinforcements like this make you feel better about yourself and keep your mood happy.
Beginning a healthy behaviors list or adding healthy choices to your already existing to-do list, is a great way to ensure you’re being as efficient with your time and body as needed. Making small daily goals that are easily accomplished will help make those lists more attainable. So, start small and realistic to make ticking them off more enjoyable.
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