(Habits: I mean the good and bad practices you follow. Not the kind nuns wear. That would be a little weird.)
After a lifetime of trying to wipe out my bad habits, I've pretty much given up on that.
Is eating sweet stuff good for me? No. Am I going to change that now if I haven't in the last 50 years? Also no. So instead of that, how about working to make sure I eat reasonably healthy food otherwise. Overall, it's a win and I can stop worrying about whether eating that chocolate is "good" or "bad".
So my current goal is to find and encourage good habits.
Twenty minutes, three times a day
This is the whiteboard above my desk:
|Yeah, it's not very legible. Whiteboards are hard to write on.|
It's Thursday morning and there are an awful lot of squares without Xs in them, but we'll ignore that. Over on the right is the "Exercise - 20 minutes" grid. A few months ago, I added this so I would prioritize getting up and moving. Twenty minutes, three times a day.
Note that it doesn't say "Run" or "Bike". It just says "Exercise - 20 min". That was deliberate. I know myself. If I don't put a time limit on it, I will keep extending it — "yesterday's run was 2 miles, so if I don't run more than that today, I'm failing." It's obvious that can't go on forever, and eventually I either hurt myself or just can't face going out to beat the previous record and stop completely.
So I made it easy on myself. Some days I don't feel like doing much, and on those days, walking around the neighborhood for 20 minutes counts. Some days I garden. Twenty minutes is a fairly easy chunk of time. Even if it's raining or late at night, I can pedal leisurely (or not) on the exercise bike in my living room.
And it works. My blood pressure is consistently lower by 10-20 mmHg when I do this. And it's good for my mental health, too.