5 Powerful Healthy Habits for Families to Start the New Year Off Right
The New Year is the perfect time to start new healthy habits. It’s a tradition for many of us to set goals and look ahead at the beginning of a new year. Here are 5 healthy habit ideas that you can implement; each one is a powerful way to start the New Year off right!
5 Healthy Habits for Families to Enjoy Together
1. Eat Together
Research on the benefits of eating family meals is abundant and positive. Sitting down to eat a meal together as a family can have positive effects on children and adults mentally, emotionally, and even physically. You likely don’t even realize all the benefits that come with eating together.
Benefits of Family Meals:
- Social connection
- Strengthened family bonds
- Sense of belonging
- Greater emotional well-being
- Healthier eating habits
- More mindful eating
- More balanced diet
- Provide routine
- Less risky behavior in children and teens
Eating together also provides the opportunity to learn and teach cooking skills. You might try taking turns choosing the menu or preparing the meals. The family mealtime doesn’t have to be dinner, either. Maybe breakfast, brunch, or lunch is a better alternative for your family.
Overall, eating together is about more than just the food. This one healthy habit can promote connection and well-being for the entire family.
2. Practice Positivity
Choose to practice positivity in your home. By calling it a practice, the pressure to be perfect disappears. When you slip up, as we all do, you can remind yourself and your family, “we are practicing.”
Positivity in your home includes the way you speak, think, and act.
Practice sharing positive affirmations with your family. Positive affirmations promote self-worth and confidence. You might want to choose affirmations together. You can write down your favorite ones and leave them somewhere you’ll see them regularly.
10 Positive Affirmations for Families:
1. I believe in myself
2. I am loved
3. I am enough
4. I am kind to myself and my family
5. I am grateful for what I have
6. I am helpful
7. My family supports me
8. We celebrate each other
9. We work together to overcome challenges
10. Our family is a place for growth and learning
Look for the good in your home and family. What you look for you will find. Practice acknowledging the good and positive things. This will help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Give praise freely to your family. Sincere praise helps to build stronger bonds and good feelings for both the giver and receiver. You might find that just one person developing a habit of vocalizing the good things will cause a domino effect of positivity in your home.
Do you have a habit that involves play? If you don’t have one, you should! It might seem unusual, but play isn’t just for kids, and in this modern, busy world, sometimes adults forget that it’s good to just play sometimes.
This might look like simply sharing a joke with a friend, creating art, building a snowman, playing fetch with a dog, or doing a puzzle. Your goal can simply be to enjoy yourself.
Benefits of Play:
● Relieves stress
● Boosts creativity
● Improves problem-solving skills
● Improves brain function
● Boosts energy
● Improves social skills
Spending time outside or combining exercise with play is a great way to get even more healthy benefits and make the most of your time.
Play is often overlooked but can be a powerful habit that will add to the joy in your life.
It’s well known that reading is good for you. Reading strengthens your brain, reduces stress, improves memory, focus, knowledge, communication skills, and much more.
There are many ways to make a habit or routine of reading. It can look like reading aloud to your children or setting aside a specific time to read independently. Reading in the middle of the day provides a nice break, and reading at the end of the day is a peaceful way to wind down.
You can set the example of reading as a fun activity. Keep books around the house and go to the library for an outing. Books also make great gifts. Simply letting your children see you enjoy reading is a powerful modeling tool.
5. Make Small Changes
Start making small changes today to create the life you want. Even simple and tiny changes can make a large and lasting difference.
If you consider the small changes as tiny course corrections, over time they can make a big difference. Research has shown that making smaller, more manageable changes to your lifestyle can have a big impact. The idea is that if you improve consistently by just 1%, over time it will add up to tremendous growth.
Small habit changes that can have a big impact:
● Drink water instead of another alternative
● Add more fruits and vegetables to your meals
● Reduce processed foods
● Choose healthier snacks
● Take a walk
● Breathe deeply
● Go to bed a little earlier
● Choose reading over electronics
Choose one thing and make small changes starting today, and over time you’ll notice that you have new habits that improve your overall health.
How to Start a New Habit
What healthy habits do you want to try this year? Visualize yourself doing them and doing them amazingly well.
Defining a specific time or place for your new habits can be helpful. Consider beforehand what you’ll need to make them work. For example, if you want to eat together more, plan a menu and pick a mealtime. Or, if you want to read more, choose some books and set them by your bed so that they’ll be there when you wind down.
Check in with your progress and evaluate how things are going after an amount of time. Make adjustments as necessary. It’s ok if you don’t get it right the first time. New habits can take time to stick, but if you keep trying and adapting you’ll be able to create a happier, healthier you in the New Year.
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