Ghada Yared, Life Coach, joined our Wellness Wednesday on Instagram Live on May 5th, 2021 to talk about building healthy habits.

Life Coach Ghada Yared is a family and ADHD coach. She is a neutral 3rd party who helps families and/or individuals identify areas of improvement in their lives and set positive goals for the future while implementing new routines to reach those goals. As an ADHD coach, she helps people with ADHD carry out the practical activities of daily life in an organized, goal-oriented, and timely fashion. In close partnership, an ADHD coach helps the client learn practical skills and initiate change in his or her daily life.

All the questions asked during the Live session are answered below. Let’s have a look!

Why build a healthy habit?

Every daily choice you make can become a habit. Your brain then performs it without full consciousness as if it’s set on auto-pilot mode; therefore, it controls you and impacts different areas of your life. Building healthy habits has a positive ripple effect on your routines, so why not consciously replace negative habits with better serving ones? We’ve all heard the phrase “you need 21 days to form a habit”, so why not use these days wisely by making healthy choices that serve you?

How to build a healthy habit?

Habits, especially healthy ones, do not appear out of nowhere. There is no magic word that turns your life upside down for the better, but there are some actions you can take to change the negatives into positives.

  • Know your triggers

Take a long and hard look at your lifestyle and what you do in a day. Think of yourself as an outsider looking into the life of someone else and take note of all the changes you would like to see for this person (that is you) to have a more fulfilling life. Try to find what triggers your unhealthy habits. Once you find what makes you ‘lose’ control, you can start drafting your battle plans!

  • Start small

After studying yourself and knowing your triggers, it is time to pick the habit you would like to change the most. It doesn’t have to be the worst one. The habit can be, for example, not brushing your teeth twice per day. Compared to eating healthy and looking like an Instagram model, this is a very small habit to start with, but it’s a start. The first step is the most important in this journey to your best self.

  • Set a reward system

So by now, you have insight into your routines and habits, and you picked what you want to change. Perfect. It’s time to set up a reward system. Set goals for yourself and each time you achieve a goal, you reward yourself for a job well done! Let’s say the habit you want to implement in your life is running every day because you work too much. Your first goal is to run 5 km in one day. Once you achieve that, go buy yourself some new running shoes as a reward. By buying the shoes, you will look forward to the next day when you go for your run where you get to wear those shiny new shoes. However, if you reward yourself with cake or a snack binge, you are enforcing another bad habit into your life while trying to enforce a good one. 

How to maintain a healthy habit?

Healthy habits require constant care for the first while, but after some time, they just become like second nature. So it is important to be prepared for what lies ahead.

  • Plan for obstacles

As was mentioned before, you should set your goals. Make them small, reasonable, and specific. For example, empty your fridge, pantry, work office, and home office out of all the junk food and sugary snacks. Instead, buy some healthy alternatives. By doing so, you are removing the temptation of eating unhealthily. Out of sight, out of mind! However, in the case of snacks, if you do go on a binge after doing so well for a while, it’s okay. Progress is not linear. You need to sit back and realize that this behavior does not work in favor of the person you are trying to become. Later on, when tempted, you will make the better choice.

  • Visualize your success

Some people find it hard to resist their impulses. These might be related to smoking, drinking, eating or anything else that brings immediate satisfaction. You can postpone the need for immediate gratification through positive forward-thinking. So whatever habit you’re trying to break, visualize yourself succeeding and happy about the changes you made. You’ll be able to resist the tiny voice in your head telling you to break the habit.

  • Rally support & set an accountability system

Find a group of friends working towards the same goals as you. They will be able to offer support and knowledge because either they are going through the same experiences you are going through or have already been through them and know the struggle. When you start having doubts about your habits and your ways, they can help! Following role models on social media who talk in all honesty about their journey is helpful too. You can see that even these celebrities or people you hold to high standards struggle just as you do, but with consistency and a strong mindset, you can get to your best self just like they did. 

They can also be the ones to hold you accountable for missing or avoiding important steps. You can set an accountability system with them so you can monitor yourself. For example, pick a friend and give them money for every day you miss a gym workout. 

Tips & Tricks

Maintaining a routine to become a healthy habit can be extremely challenging when the environment itself is toxic and harmful. So what can you do?

  • Work around your environment, not against it!

Make your surroundings work for you instead of you trying to change your schedule to fit into your environment. If you work at an office all day and when you’re home you can’t find the motivation to hit the gym, keep a gym bag ready in your car so you can go workout immediately after work! If you have anxiety about going to the gym, shift your furniture around the house to make it more comfortable for you to do your workouts at home.

  • Track your progress

Keep an eye on your progress from the first day you start your attempt at new habits until they become second nature and maybe even beyond that if you feel like it! It helps you see in writing or numbers how far you’ve come, how many challenges you faced, how many times you reached your goals, how quickly you reached them, etc.

So the advice here is to get a diary or a personalized notebook to act as your habit tracker, keep a calendar or download one of many tracking apps available on your phone. 

If you’re interested in more mental health advice, check out Ghada Yared’s Instagram page @wonderlust.coaching!

That’s all folks! Thank you for joining us for this session, and thank you to Ghada Yared for this valuable information. Stay tuned for more Wellness Wednesdays to come 💙

If you have any questions or topic suggestions, feel free to reach out to the Mint Basil Market team.

May 09, 2021 — Mint Basil Team

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