Healthy Habits to Incorporate Into Your Daily Routine in the New Year

New year is the time most of us decide to get our lives back on track. Some people vow to stop smoking, others plan to set up a business or start running again. But the reason most people fail is because they set themselves unachievable goals. They go full steam ahead for the first couple of weeks and then run out of, well, steam. That's when they give up and go back to their old ways. 

If you've never run a day in your life, you're not very likely to be able to run five miles a day, every day, with no prior experience. The trick is to set small, achievable goals and work up from there. 

Here are five basic things you can do to have a healthier mind and body. Make time for these every day and you'll notice a significant improvement in your life after a few weeks. You don't need to start them all on January 1st; you could begin by picking one and doing it every day for a week, then gradually adding in the others. 

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1. Eat breakfast
I know it's a cliche, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your breakfast should include some protein and complex carbs, so something like poached eggs on wholemeal toast is perfect. If you don't have much time in the mornings, either try getting up a little earlier to fit in some breakfast, or make something the night before such as overnight oats or a smoothie to grab in the morning.  

2. Exercise for 30 minutes
Like I said, you don't need to begin a full-on workout regime on the first day of January. But if you start exercising for just half an hour, three to five times a week, your health will improve tremendously. This could be anything you like - a walk around the block, a yoga session, lifting weights, swimming...the key is to find something you enjoy because you'll be more likely to stick to it in the long term.

3. Learn to meditate
Practising meditation and mindfulness exercises will help to calm your mind and bring you back to the present moment. If you're not sure how or where to start, download a meditation app or watch a YouTube video for inspiration. 

4. Spend time in nature
Not only will it benefit your mental health, but a recent study has shown that spending time outdoors can also boost your physical health in so many ways, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and premature death. So grab your coat and find some green space to hang out in. It's even even better if you can combine this with tip #2 and take your exercise outside. Go for walk in the park, the woods or along the beach, depending on where you live.

5. Drink your water
You already know you should be drinking more water, so now's the time to ditch the excuses and just do it! Try to drink eight cups (around two litres) of water per day. If you don't like the taste of plain water, you can buy fruit infuser water bottles which allow you to add chopped fruit or berries to your water to enhance the flavour - so you'll always have a healthy drink, wherever you go.

6. Cook more meals from scratch
Stop eating out and ordering in so much, and you'll probably save some money as well as eat healthier. If you haven't got time to cook dinner every night, try prepping your meals on a Sunday for the coming week (see my post on meal planning for tips and inspiration). Or just double the quantity next time you make a recipe and freeze half of it to heat up on a day when you're too tired to make something from scratch.

7. Limit social media/Netflix time
This one's a lot easier said than done, I know. It's so tempting just to binge watch your favourite shows or spend the evening scrolling through Instagram after a long day. But you'd probably be shocked at just how much time you waste on these activities - time you could be using to work on yourself by cooking fresh meals, going to the gym, meditating, working on your blog or even just reading a book.

What healthy habits are you planning to start this new year? Let me know in the comments.

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