Our lifestyles are made up of habits, and our habits become established routes through consistent choices. Are your habits contributing to your well-being? Or are they reducing your health? If you want different outcomes, then it is time to change the input. In other words, if it’s broke, fix it! This also applies to those who work in the construction industry. If you or your employees need to replace bad habits with better ones, there are a few tips:
Seven Steps to Establishing a New Habit
- Start small. Remember, the first objective is to implement a new habit. After the habit is in place, it is easier to refine and perfect. For example, if you tend to skip breakfast and would like to establish better eating habits, begin by eating breakfast. After you’ve become consistent with the first meal of the day, you can refine your habit by focusing on creating healthy, balanced breakfast menus.
- Make a plan. Be sure you have the tools you need to succeed. If you tend to be dehydrated and hope to drink more water, make sure you have easy access to water. Perhaps you will need to purchase a reusable water bottle or keep a case of water bottles in the car, jobsite or office.
- Set reminders. If you’re inclined to forget to drink your water, set an alarm on your phone to drink water every hour on the hour. Perhaps you would like to exercise at a certain time each day; use your phone to send you reminders each day. Use the technology at your fingertips!
- Seek encouragement. Find supportive friends and family to cheer you on. If the encouragement you need does not exist in your immediate circle of peers, join an online community.
- Record your progress. It’s easy to focus on failures and forget how far you’ve come. Recording your progress keeps you engaged and motivated. Research shows that those who keep track have greater success. Try using an app for your smart phone — or even a good old pocket-sized notebook.
- Keep on keeping on. Choose one or two daily habits at a time for three to four weeks. It is important to be consistent and focused. And if you fall off the bandwagon, don’t be too hard on yourself. Dust yourself off and get back on!
- Reward yourself! Sometimes, the sense of accomplishment is enough of a reward; but oftentimes, it is useful to review your progress and pat yourself on the back.
Begin with Beverages
Last month was the hottest July on record; I think we’ll find that August was not too far behind. For contractors and construction workers with jobs outdoors in the midday heat, hydration is essential. In the daily battle to maintain or lose weight, beverages are one of the easiest places to begin. The average American consumes approximately 22% of their calories from beverages. Reducing calories from beverages won’t leave you feeling hungry and deprived. Help your employees have access to low-calorie beverages and reduced-calorie sweeteners for coffee and tea.
Water is the ultimate low-calorie beverage because it is actually calorie free. For the times when you feel like having more flavor:
- Try adding citrus slices, berries, or even cucumber to flavor your water.
- Coconut water can be used to replace electrolytes lost from sweating.
- If you’re trying to reduce your soda intake, try mixing 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice with 2-4 ounces of seltzer water or flavored seltzer water for zero calories.
- Sweeten your iced tea with 100% fruit juice to reduce calories and increase nutrition.
How Technology Can Simplify Your Life
Sometimes technology can feel like an overwhelming distraction, rather than a useful tool. But there is no need to be intimidated. Technology does not have to clutter your life; it can actually simplify it. Start by using some of these apps to create new healthy habits.
Let me know if you found this useful and what habit you are going to change!
Live your life by design, not by default!
Yours in good health,
Nora Clemens has been a Nutrition Expert for over 30 years. Her passion is working with people to help them achieve health and wellness through nutrition and fitness. Nora prides herself in being able to design programs that meet each person’s unique nutrition and lifestyle needs by helping them overcome the obstacles that have previously stood in their way. Construction Connection Profile Link: https://www.constructionconnection.com/natd/view/767