Changing your Life One Habit at a Time: 4 Steps to Master Habit Change

The Power of Habit
The Power of Habit

 

Have you ever struggled to drop a bad habit, or struggled to create one you know you need? In his book The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in life and business, Charles Duhigg breaks down the “science” of habits and how to change bad habits to good. His book also really got me thinking about all of the habits that I use every day, either purposefully or not. (PSA: If you haven’t read his book, I highly recommend it!) The more I read, the more I realized how much of my life was just a result of habits, rather than me actively choosing or deciding something. I also realized how draining it is when I actually have to make a decision instead of just relying on habit. It seems like when I have too many decisions to make in a day, my willpower and energy get so drained that by 6:00 all I can do is watch Netflix.

So basically, I want to rework my day and my habits so that they work for me and towards my goals, instead of moving me farther away from my goals. I’m going to break down the process so that you can hopefully apply these frameworks towards your own habits:

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Mindfulness versus Meditation

Meditation versus Mindfulness

I was first introduced to mindfulness by my fiancé – his HR department was circulating mindfulness exercises as part of it’s wellness initiative. As he was describing the exercises and the videos, all I could think was, “this sounds exactly like what I do in yoga…”. So whether you’ve been doing yoga and wondering what the heck mindfulness is, or exploring mindfulness and wondering how it connects to meditation (or haven’t done either and are just curious!), I’m here to help demystify the two. Read more

How to Conquer your Fear and Get in the Weight Room

Weight Room

The weight room, in many gyms, consists of tons of jacked dudes in tanks doing bench press and deadlifts with giant barbells, all making similar grunting noises. It smells like sweat and testosterone and can be utterly intimidating for the average female gym-goer. We’ve been to bootcamp, we’ve done the at-home YouTube videos, we know the moves, but somehow we still shy away from the gym’s weight room. But strength training is sooo good for us, so how can we overcome this fear? Unfortunately, it eventually comes down to just getting in there and doing it, but knowing some etiquette and having a plan can help you feel more prepared and confident.

First, let’s start off with my weight lifting story: I was one of the lucky ones –  I started lifting all the way back in high school at the local YMCA. It was a very family-friendly place, and since I went right after school when it wasn’t busy, I wasn’t that intimidated lifting there.

Enter college. Read more

Simple Green Smoothie 30-Day Challenge: Why I’m Doing It and Why You Should Join

My fiancé loves podcasts, and every once in awhile he convinces me to listen with him. This past weekend, we were listening to an episode of Smart Passive Income where Pat Flynn (the host) was interviewing one of the women of SimpleGreenSmoothies.com about their site, their company, and most of all, about their 30-day challenges.

Simple Green Smoothies is a blog and company all about, you guessed it, simple green smoothies. They have tons of recipes, along with books and other guides to help you with making green smoothies a part of your life. They claim to help you lose weight and boost your energy, which considering I’m getting married in about 2 months, sounded like just what I need this spring. I’ve even convinced my fiancé to do it with me! Read more

5 Cheap (or Free!) Ways to Change your Home to Improve your Mood

Many of us know by now that our surroundings, especially our homes, can affect our mood: everything from colors, shapes, lighting, and more can have an impact. However, if you’re like me, maybe going out to buy all new furniture with rounded edges isn’t in the budget right now. Or maybe you live in an apartment and can’t paint the walls! 

Whatever your situation, I’ve rounded up the best free or cheap things you can do to use your environment to boost your mood. I’ve also organized them by time they take, from quickest to most time-consuming. Read more

20 Minute Workout: Legs and Cardio Tabata

LEGS TABATATabatas are my absolute favorite workout when I’m short on time – they’re quick, they’re effective, and the format makes it easy to create a workout that’s perfect for my goals that day.

If you’re new to tabatas, they’re a form of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, that is rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. And by work, I mean all-out, balls-to-the-wall work. Tabatas have been shown to help with fat loss and increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. For more on the science of tabatas, here is a great article. It’s also helpful to have a tabata timer. My favorite is to simply use tabatatimer.com. The same website also has an app, but the app is $2.99 (available on Android and iOS). Read more

6 Basics of Healthy Eating

6 Foundations of Healthy EatingI hate diets, and I hate meal plans. For a long time, and like many other girls and women, I struggled with body image and with my relationship to food. It felt like every time I went to eat something, a million negative and guilty thoughts went through my head about my meal choice – how many calories, what did I already eat today, what was I going to eat later, was this the “perfect” meal/snack/food for what I was trying to achieve. Eventually, I was able to simplify my diet, lose weight, and stop stressing about food every day – all by living by these 5 simple rules of healthy eating: Read more