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Make Convenience the Key to Healthier Living

Resident health and wellness contributor Joelene Ranby offers tips on ways we can all make our health resolutions stick.

23 April 2024

Did you start the new year like many of us do with the greatest intentions to create new health resolutions that would last the year this time? January has come and gone, and before we know it we can feel like we are suddenly relishing the last weeks of daylight savings and welcoming in the second quarter of the year with a blink of an eye.

Like many things in life, focusing on small yet achievable steps to help form new habits can be the significant difference between our health resolutions resulting in real changes rather than familiar feelings of guilt or disappointment when we set goals which feel too out of reach.

Who better to ask than Joelene Ranby, our resident health and wellness contributor and the founder of Resolution Retreats, New Zealand’s best wellness retreat, for her tips on ways we can make our health resolutions stick. We were delighted to discover the key is in convenience.

Hydration vital

“A great place to start is focusing on making healthier more convenient for you and being unhealthier less convenient for you. Some of these may seem simple, but you will be surprised how many of us have an empty drink bottle at our desk, in our car or in our handbag!”

Here are some of my habit tricks for navigating the convenience conundrum:

Effortless meal mastery: Invest as little as 30 minutes weekly to prep meals or meal elements; having nutritious options at your fingertips makes healthy choices easier and a no-brainer. Even doing a bit of chopping and organising as you unpack the groceries is a great first step. Meal mastery helps reduce food waste and saves you money.

Snack smart: Keep a curated stash of favourite fruits, nuts, boiled eggs and yoghurt within reach, making it easy to opt for these over less healthy snacks. For most of us, it’s not that we don’t enjoy healthier snacks; they just tend to be less convenient unless they’re prepped and ready to go. Focusing on protein will also ensure you feel fuller for longer and reduce those afternoon sugar crashes/cravings.

Digital detox, a wellbeing escape: Trade screen time for activities you love, enhancing your happiness, well-being and relaxation. Whether it’s personal time, creativity, or indulging in a hobby, prioritise activities that contribute positively to your health and happiness. Not investing in our happiness can leave us frustrated and resentful and looking for a pick-me-up in unhealthier but more convenient quick fixes.

Mindful eating, your daily pause: Transform mealtime into a personal care ritual. Chew and savour each bite, preventing overeating and promoting better digestion. Extending your meals beyond 20 minutes enhances satisfaction and allows your body to extract more nutrients from your food. Try to avoid distractions like electronics at mealtimes.

Hydration habit, your stylish statement: Carry a chic, reusable water bottle, it not only reflects your taste but ensures hydration is always at your fingertips. The easier the bottle is for you to take a swig, the better. Try a bottle with a quick-sip option. And most importantly, make sure it’s topped up; you can’t drink out of an empty water bottle.

Catch the first sleep train: Prepare your body and sleep environment in advance; don’t wait until you’re tired. Start getting ready for bed at least an hour before your intended sleep time. This can include limiting your use of electronics, showering earlier, brushing your teeth, etc, so that when you start to feel sleepy you can head straight off to bed. Many of us wait until we are feeling too tired before starting the getting ready for bed ritual, after which we may have missed the sleep train altogether.

Out of sight, out of mind: Put away items that distract you or pull you into unhealthy habits. For example, having a jar of cookies on your benchtop will be a constant reminder they are there for the taking. Putting them away doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have the cookies, but without the constant visual reminder you’re less likely to indulge as often.

Meal planning: One of the most effective ways to improve your nutrition is by thinking about meals and snacks in advance and what is required to make those happen. Meal delivery options such as My Food Bag’s Fresh Start subscription not only assist in taking the guesswork out of what you’re having for dinner, but also offer lunch and snack options. Their clever nutritionists do a lot of the work for you in picking balanced and delicious recipes and sending them your way (they have even featured some of our retreat recipes!) If you’ve got a particularly busy few weeks coming up, take a look at their express options for meals ready in less than 15 minutes.

By focusing on making healthier habits more convenient, you’ll find that healthier choices slip into your day more effortlessly. These new habits begin to stack up, replacing those “unhealthier” habits that once felt more convenient.

Informed Investor's content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.


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