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Building Healthier Habits in 2022

Hear from one local NASM certified personal trainer about establishing the best the habits

The new year is a classic kick off to start fresh and build many resolutions that we all hope stick around. How many times do your resolutions fall through each year? It can be challenging to build new habits and switch up routines if you're looking for a change. That's why we rounded up the best advice to establishing habits and making them stay for good. We spoke with Danielle Johnston, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and aspiring kinesiologist, who broke down her top tips to maintaining healthy habits this new year.

Start with a small habit and make it something you enjoy 

Think 1-3 things maximum and then give yourself at least a month or two to apply the change. If you like to eat and cook, maybe try a new recipe or browse a cookbook in the library or bookstore for inspiration. If you like fashion, maybe try cleaning out a section of your closet (i.e. tops, bottoms, shoes, etc) to make way for 1 new piece. If you like being outdoors, maybe you try adding in just a 5 minute walk down the road. 

Create 3 different types of resolutions

Danielle says to create 1 health resolution, 1 personal resolution, and 1 professional resolution as it is the best format to better yourself in multiple realms instead of just physical health. Too often, we get caught up in this "New Year New Me" mindset and create a list of things you want to change or start doing. But as they get lost in the busy to-do list of life and we forget, we can also feel like a failure and revert to "I'll try again tomorrow or next year". But what if you don't have to start over, just keep going.

If you miss a day, try again 

If you miss a day or make a mistake with whatever resolution you're working on, take that next opportunity to try again. Danielle uses the goal to eat healthier as an example. Health can be interpreted in many different ways but if you can take the small first step of looking at ingredients, that alone can make a world's difference in the recipe you use so maybe you don't even have to alter or substitute it. Or if your goal is to snack less but one day you snack more, don't wave the flag and sabotage your efforts. Take a minute to breathe through the moment and then move on, enjoying the ebb and flow of health instead of going all in or nothing. Starting small allows you to adjust everyday habits that will, with time, transition to lifestyle changes. 

Track your progress and visualize your future

Whether you keep a notebook of your habit building, or keep track on your phone, it is important to acknowledge the personal progress made. This will also help you see the future that you want to build as you make more desirable changes in your life. If you want to track how you feel after working out, it will serve as a reflection on the progress made through what has been written down. This will encourage you to continue pushing for your goals!