By Lindsey Joe, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

We get it. Creating healthy habits is hard. It's hard to know what to do, where to start, and how to maintain them. Here’s the deal: the best habits for you are the ones that work with your lifestyle, not against it. And in order for healthy habits to stick around for the long run, we have to get good at practicing them often.

Here are three simple goals that you can reach this week and turn into habits for better health and well-being in the days to come.

1. Order a better beverage.

Whether you find yourself in the drive-thru or standing in a coffee shop line for your morning caffeine fix, commit to ordering a beverage that’s better for you. Try one of these simple strategies: order a smaller size, reduce the amount of sugar (opt for diet or request half-sweet), go for a lower-fat milk or milk substitute, or even take off some of the toppings (such as the syrup and whipped cream it comes with). Hydrating healthier is easier than you think!

2. Take a time out (or two).

There may not be a week-long beach vacation in your future, but every day you have an opportunity to take a break to be at your best – you just have to seize it! Believe it or not, most people don’t take the breaks they’re given in their work day. Whether you go into an office or hustle from home, taking breaks can actually help you be more productive. (Plus, we like that we can easily incorporate wellness into these breaks.) The “best” break is less about time and more about your ability to separate yourself from your work thoughts. We recommend going for a short stroll, engaging in some simple stretches, or taking a little time to meditate.

3. Catch more zzz's.

I know it’s tempting to start the endless scroll of social media as soon as you’re in bed, but it may be really interfering with the sleep your body needs to fully rest and rejuvenate before the next day. Set some boundaries for yourself for better sleep, such as no screens (phone, tablet, TV, or laptop) in bed or only decaf before bedtime. Don’t be the grump who wakes up groggy! Prioritize getting the sleep you need, whether that’s six hours or nine. We promise you’ll immediately feel the effects of a better night's sleep.

Working to establish healthier habits?

Check out these 5 secrets you need to know and 7 ways to stay on track. We also offer nutrition counseling and various wellness support services at Y's across Middle Tennessee. Let’s be partners in growing stronger together!