Many people start the new year with a health kick. But changing your behavior overnight is a lot easier said than done. That’s why at Ada, we’re ditching New Year’s resolutions and committing to building 5 healthy habits into our 2024 routines.
On average, it takes 66 days 1 for a new behavior to become a habit. Drastic changes are harder to stick to and can leave you feeling discouraged. That’s why it’s important to start small and be consistent.
Here are 5 healthy habits that will boost your overall well-being.
1. Slow down your meals
Many of us consider changing our eating habits when a new year rolls around. This year, instead of committing to a diet, restricting your eating, counting calories, or eliminating certain foods, consider simply slowing down your meals.
Try to pause and eat more slowly and mindfully. This simple action can transform your relationship with food and help you tune in to your body’s signals. 2 You may begin to notice your body’s hunger and fullness cues, or how certain foods make you feel. Put your phone away, stay present, and focus on the experience.
2. Find joy in movement
Instead of committing to an overwhelming exercise regime, try finding ways to move that bring you joy. Love nature? Find scenic local hiking routes or take a longer walk to work via the nearest park. Is dancing your thing? Boogie around the kitchen while you’re making dinner. Want to be more social? Find a team sport you love. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, so whatever you choose, make it fun.
3. Prioritize rest
Getting enough rest and quality sleep is crucial for good physical and mental health. 3 Establish a soothing bedtime routine, reduce screen time before bed, ensure your bedroom is comfortable and dark, and try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Take short naps when you feel the need and try to rest before you get too tired.
4. Find small ways to reduce stress
Over time, stress can have a huge impact on our health. 4 That’s why it’s important to understand our stressors and to find simple ways to keep stress under control. Mindfulness and meditation are useful tools but may not be for everyone. Think about what really helps you release stress.
Maybe activities like organizing your sock drawer or going to see a horror movie help you wind down. Social activities can work for some, while others need alone time to fully relax. Honor what works for you, and try to work it into your schedule on a daily or weekly basis.
5. Drink more water
Finding ways to stay hydrated is one of the healthiest habits you can develop. Try to drink about 2 liters of water daily. If you tend to forget, keep a bottle of water with you as a reminder or set regular alarms. Getting enough water into your system helps regulate body temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and supports the removal of waste through sweat, urine, and bowel movements. 5
Integrating these 5 healthy lifestyle habits into your daily life can lead to significant improvements in your health and well-being. Remember, the journey to better health is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself as you make these changes.
Take care of yourself,
NIH (2012) Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice. Accessed on 25 November 2023.
BDA (2023) Mindful eating. Accessed on 25 November 2023.
NHS (2021) Insomnia. Accessed on 25 November 2023.
NHS (2022) 10 stress busters. Accessed on 25 November 2023.
CDC (2022) Water and healthier drinks. Accessed on 25 November 2023.