What healthy habits are you hoping to adopt in the New Year?

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What new habits, big or small, have improved your physical, mental or spiritual health this year? For example, have you started to eat healthier? Sleep more? Reduce social networks?

What bad habits have you fallen into this year? Do you have any ideas to change them?

In “Our Favorite Healthy Habits of 2021”, Tara Parker-Pope shares the best tips from the Well section for a better life. Here are excerpts from four of the entries:

Enjoy exercise snacks. Too often we think of exercise as a formal activity that we have to do for an hour at the gym every day. But a number of studies show that short periods of exercise multiple times a day lead to significant gains in fitness and overall health. Just as you might grab a handful of crisps or nuts to break up the monotony of your day, an exercise “snack” is a break from quick movement. Get up and walk forward when you’re on the phone. Do show jumps, lunges or sit on the wall, or climb the stairs for 20 seconds. My favorite exercise snack is 10 wall pumps.

Take a gratitude photo. If a gratitude journal isn’t your thing, plan to take one photo per day of something special in your life. It could be a cute photo of your dog, a sunset, or a delicious meal. Take a moment to study the photo, sit down with your feelings of gratitude, then share it with a friend or post it on social media.

Print a list of “feelings”. Every day when you brush your teeth or brew your coffee, ask yourself: How are you really doing? Think of a word that describes exactly how you are feeling. Unstable? Energetic? Delighted? Irritated ? (Avoid standard responses like “good,” “good,” or “OK.”) This simple labeling activity is surprisingly effective in relieving stress and removing the sting of negative thoughts. Studies show that when we label our feelings, it helps turn off the emotional alarm system in our brain and lowers our stress response.

To make easy: In the scientific study of habit formation, the thing that makes it harder for you to reach your goal is called friction, which usually comes in three forms: distance, time, and effort. The frictionless habits you’ll stick are those that are convenient, happen near you, and don’t take a lot of time or effort.


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