Week 4: Make one or two changes a month for a year

Trying to change one thing a month sounds achievable, right? Well, it is! Trying new things once a month can help you see what will stick in your life, what you like and don’t like and what works for you.

I have used this method for a few years now and have successfully implemented the following:

  • Using apple cider vinegar daily
  • Exercising for at least 15 minutes every day
  • Drinking more water
  • Drinking less coffee
  • Taking vitamins, consistently!
  • A new face washing method that works for me (and involves oil)
  • Keeping the house clean (well, clean-ish) by cleaning one area per day
  • Daily stretching
  • Eating leafy greens every day

In a list like this (and there are more!) it’s neat to see what has stuck over a few years in my life . I started by trying to consciously incorporate one new habit everyday for a month. At the end of the month, I decided if it worked for me and either kept it or ditched it!

For some perspective, here are some things that I tried and didn’t manage to incorporate in my life because it didn’t work for me:

  • Daily running outside (running everyday was just too much, and I really only run when the season is appropriate now)
  • Daily yoga (I realllly wanted to be a yogi, but it just didn’t jive with me to do daily)
  • Daily blogging (I reduced the goal to once per week, and I am sticking with it so far!)
  • Drinking 1L of water when I wake up (I get in my water, but chugging a litre of water first thing was just something that didn’t work with my schedule)

For my “failed” habits, I saw that they were driven from wanting to be a certain way, or identifying with a certain group. The reason behind the habit didn’t come from my core, so they didn’t stick!  With this knowledge, for any new habit I implement, I really think of the “why” and whether it really means something to me.

So this week, plan out a few months – or just set a reminder on the first of each month to pick something new to try in your life. The key here is to tie this to a goal, desire or outcome and that it’s worth it to you. If the habit doesn’t work, then move on to the next and maybe try it again down the line. It’s a creative process, and you’ll learn a ton about yourself!

Looking for ideas? Here’s a list of things (and reasons to try!):

  • Be aware of your sugar intake. Look at labels and get things with less sugar in them. (Reason: Getting less sugar in your diet is a good thing. And by becoming aware of the labels, you’ll start to see that it’s hidden in everything. My husband does this now, and he’s always saying “hey! did you know there is sugar in this? this is crap!” at the grocery store and doesn’t put those things in the cart. The awareness will help fuel your choices!)
  • Eat leafy greens everyday. (Reason: There are so many amazing energy boosting nutrients in leafy greens. Get them in everyday! More on that here.)
  • Drink 2-3L of water per day. (Reason: Water supports pretty much all functions in the body. People expect a lot out of their body, but if it doesn’t have enough water, it’s not well supported to absorb nutrients and just generally, work! Support your body, drink water!) 
  • Get in some healthy fats, incorporate avocado and/or coconut oil everyday. (Reason: Getting in good fats helps to absorb fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin D! Fat is also satiating and keeps you fuller longer. It can make your skin look brighter too!) 
  • Don’t eat anything that comes out of a package (Reason: Eating good whole, real foods can make you see how much you may have been depending on that daily granola bar. Make your own! Not eating convenience foods will help you meal plan, prepare foods, stock your freezer, and come up with better ideas for snacks that will have an amazing impact over time). 

Try a new habit, each month, for a year. By next New Years Eve, you can take a look at what you’ve done! I guarantee you’ll be surprised. I made some gradual changes, and to be honest, was surprised when I started to write it all down! The changes are not overwhelming and support my life rather than add to my already large to-do list.

So to recap, in week 4:

  • Begin a plan to try one new habit per month for the rest of the year! You don’t have to know what you will do each month necessarily, just set a reminder for the first of each month to try something new.
  • Keep what works, toss what doesn’t.
  • If something doesn’t work, think of the reason why and learn from it.
  • For the things that do work, yay! Keep up the great work and monitor how you feel with this new habit.

There you have it folks! Comment your habits below, you may have a great idea that will help someone else!

Author: Jackie

Jackie is a certified holistic nutritionist (with the Alive Academy out of Richmond, B.C.) in her spare time. Full-time she works in an office (like many of you!) and is always looking for ways to make her busy life happy and healthy. She is a mom to 2 lovely daughters, and a wife to a picky-eater husband who always keeps her on her toes when she is creating healthy recipes.

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