3 Healthy Habits That Will Make You Feel Consistently Good

Alyssa Atkinson

Diets and detox teas not included.

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With the start of each year comes exciting new goals, aspirations, and of course, New Year’s resolutions.

And while that symbolic fresh start is great, that’s all it really is — a symbol. After all, you can’t achieve those big, lofty goals without physically putting in the work.

When I was a child, I used to think that New Year’s resolutions were like wishes, and once you wrote them down, only fate would decide whether or not to bring them to fruition. Now, I understand that resolutions are really just goals with a fancy title.

Even so, I continue to make New Year’s resolutions each and every year, but I now approach them in a more realistic way. I no longer write “get healthy” on a piece of paper, go to the gym for five days, and then ditch the resolution completely. Instead, I stick to healthy habits, like the three I’m about to share, which help me feel consistently good all year round. They are simple yet effective, so you can easily adopt them as well.

1. Exercise 30 minutes per day.

Whenever people ask me for health, fitness, or productivity advice, this is the first tip I recommend every single time. There are few things in life that will make you feel as consistently good as exercise does. Plus, exercise can have incredibly positive impacts on your health.

In fact, if you replace sedentary time with just 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous daily exercise, you will reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 77 percent.

I’ve been exercising 30 minutes per day for about ten years. Doing so has helped me manage my stress, maintain my health, and feel consistently good. I have found that I love running for about 30 minutes each day. It makes me feel energized, invigorated, and I love the post workout endorphins.

However, I also strength train a couple times each week. This is because while I love running, it is purely cardio exercise, and I also want to target and strengthen my muscles. Without weight lifting consistently, this will be very hard to do, even if you exercise each and every day. While weight lifting was something I didn't initially enjoy very much, once I got into a routine and started lifting consistently and seeing results, I grew to actually look forward to it.

Even if you have tried working out before and didn’t enjoy it, I urge you to give it another shot. Test out some various forms, like running, walking, yoga, swimming, and lifting weights, and stick with the one that makes you feel your best.

2. Practice gratitude in the following way.

Something I have done for the past couple months is keep a journal. I never thought it would make a noticeable impact, but it truly has boosted my mood and helped me stay more organized.

I write a few thoughts down at the end of the night, and I always end with a statement of gratitude. It may seem like an insignificant task, but it forces you to reflect on everything you have to be grateful for, and allows you to find joy in the smallest of things.

It can be easy to get caught up in the stressors of daily life and focus on the things you don't have, all the things that are going wrong in your life, and even the small daily frustrations, some of which you might not have control over. However, I have learned that when I get angry over these things, it only makes me feel worse.

Instead, I have adopted the practice of redirecting those thoughts and turning them into positives. I focus on what I do have in my life rather than what I don't, and I feel happier each day as a result.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” — Robert Brault

When you practice gratitude for all the positive things in your life, you set yourself up for greater happiness and success, which will ultimately help you feel good day after day. This is a key habit that you shouldn't neglect, as it truly can impact how you live each and every day.

3. Eat better, not less.

In the past, friends and co-workers have come to me incredibly frustrated with the lack of results from their new “healthy” meal plans.

A few years back, one of them had a goal of losing ten pounds, so she went on a strict diet. Her lunch was the same every single day — beans, raw vegetables, and an occasional piece of fruit. A meal as bland and boring as that would be enough to drive anyone mad. Luckily, you don’t have to approach eating in this way to get fit.

In fact, a non-restrictive, balanced diet is necessary in order to fulfill all of a person’s nutritional needs, and provide them with enough calories and nutrients to stay healthy.

When I decided to eat healthier, I didn’t follow a specific diet. Instead, I made changes in my overall lifestyle. I transitioned to eating mostly minimally processed foods, drastically cut down on my sugar intake, and the rest took care of itself.

You can get healthier, enjoy your food, and nourish your body properly all at the same time by simply focusing on eating real food. The key is to eat better, not less.

Final Thoughts

Hitting the gym, eating a healthy meal, or completing an important work task will make you feel accomplished for a few hours. However, that feeling is fleeting. When you stay disciplined and turn those actions into habits, that is when you start to feel consistently feel good.

For the past five years, I have committed to healthy habits like exercising almost every day and eating a well-balanced diet. As a result, I wake up each morning feeling energized and ready to tackle whatever life throws my way.

Find what makes you feel energized and fulfilled, do it every single day, and pretty soon, you too will feel consistently happy and healthy.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC
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